Richard Pusey will remain behind bars over the April crash, when a truck hit four officers testing the mortgage broker for drugs and impounding his car in the emergency lane of Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway.
The 41-year-old avoided being struck, but is accused of recording the scene on his mobile instead of helping a dying Senior Constable Lynette Taylor as she groaned for help.
Magistrate Jo Metcalf labelled the allegations “highly intrusive and morally repugnant” in denying Pusey bail on Thursday.
She told Melbourne Magistrates Court the accused posed an unacceptable risk of committing offences and endangering public safety if released.
Pusey faces 12 offences including driving at a dangerous speed, reckless conduct endangering life, destruction of evidence, perverting the course of justice, and failing to remain at the scene after a drug test or render assistance.
But Ms Metcalf raised the possibility some of the more serious charges might not stick.
“This is a significant delay in the circumstances, particularly when there is a prosect Mr Pusey could be acquitted of more serious charges,” she said.
It came after Pusey’s lawyer took issue with Victoria Police’s interpretation of some of the evidence, particularly around charges of failing to remain at the scene or help.
Senior Constable Kevin King, Constables Glen Humphris and Josh Prestney were also killed when the truck ploughed into the group on April 22.
Pusey’s barrister, Vincent Peters, had argued his client was in shock after witnessing a horrific crash, adding there was little the man could have done given doctors arrived at the scene.
Prosecutors said Pusey had been a trained nurse but instead chose to film the scene for more than three minutes, making derogatory remarks, before leaving and sharing pictures and footage including with a federal police officer.
Pusey was accused of walking up to Sen. Const. Taylor and saying, “there you go. Amazing, absolutely amazing”.
“All I wanted was to go home and have my sushi and now you’ve “f***ed my f***ing car,” he also allegedly said.
He had been prescribed anti-psychotic medication and Ritalin, and likely had ADHD and an antisocial narcissistic personality disorder, according to a psychological report.
Pusey also struggled with narcissistic rage, a daily fear of being arrested and at times fantasised about killing people, the report said.
A month before the crash, he allegedly boasted to a mate about speeding at 300 km/h along the same freeway, where the limit is 100.
He was also allegedly captured doing 247 km/h along the Monash Freeway, including 160 km/h through roadworks.
The court was told other allegations against the man included threatening emails sent to a Westpac employee, as well as threats to set himself on fire at a debt collection agency and drive down Bourke St, in an apparent reference to James Gargasoulas’ deadly rampage.
Ms Metcalf acknowledged Pusey’s case would likely be delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic, with a contested committal hearing not expected to occur until 2021 and a trial possibly not until 2022.
He is next due to appear in court for a committal mention on July 16.