A court sketch of Richard Pusey during his bail hearing at Melbourne Magistrates Court. Picture: AAP Image/Nine News
A court sketch of Richard Pusey during his bail hearing at Melbourne Magistrates Court. Picture: AAP Image/Nine News

Porsche driver Pusey’s ‘disturbing pleasure’ laid bare

Melbourne mortgage broker Richard Pusey's bid for freedom has dredged up an extensive criminal history which police say paints a picture of a man who takes a "disturbing pleasure at causing other people fear and discomfort".

Mr Pusey, 41, sat in the dock at Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Monday wearing a face mask and gloves and listened as police detailed a string of incidents during his bail hearing.

He is accused of filming and berating dying police and fleeing the scene of a deadly crash last month on Melbourne's Eastern Freeway that killed four officers.

But Detective Senior Constable Aaron Price from the Homicide Squad spent more than 30 minutes in court delving into his past.

In 2008, Mr Pusey was jailed for nine months but had his sentence suspended for assaulting his girlfriend, the court heard.

 

Richard Pusey is applying for bail. Picture: Michael Dodge/AAP
Richard Pusey is applying for bail. Picture: Michael Dodge/AAP

In 2018, he was convicted of reckless conduct endangering injury when he tried to blow up a Fitzroy pub because staff asked him to leave.

Det Sen Const Price said an intoxicated Mr Pusey removed a gas bottle from an outside heater, opened the valve and placed it inside the venue.

In 2019, during a Tiger Airways flight from Melbourne to Brisbane, Mr Pusey filmed flight crew and called one member a "fat cow". He was physically removed and convicted of public nuisance.

Mr Pusey was also placed on a good behaviour bond for stalking in 2018, fined for using a carriage service to menace and hauled back before the courts for a road rage incident that allegedly saw him remove the keys from another car's ignition and drive away with them.

Det Sen Const Price said Mr Pusey once placed a "threatening" phone call to a Westpac employee in which he named her young daughter despite never being given her details.

 

A court sketch of Richard Pusey during his bail hearing at Melbourne Magistrates Court. Picture: AAP/Nine News
A court sketch of Richard Pusey during his bail hearing at Melbourne Magistrates Court. Picture: AAP/Nine News

He also cited a threat Mr Pusey allegedly made to an employee from a debt collection agency. In a voicemail message, the 41-year-old told her he would write the company logo on a car and "drive it down Bourke Street". Police say the reference was to killer James Gargasoulas' 2017 rampage that killed six people including children.

"The accused appears to take a disturbing pleasure at causing other people fear and discomfort," Det Sen Const Price said.

In opposing bail, police also laid bare Mr Pusey's driving history. They alleged that before he was pulled over on April 22 for allegedly driving at 149km/h in a 100km/h zone, Mr Pusey bragged to friends about speeding on the same stretch of road.

"I did 275 first then when I returned I took us to 300," Det Sen Const Price alleged Mr Pusey said. "It will do 350 and it's coming."

Det Sen Const Price said Mr Pusey represents a flight risk and has a history which "indicates he doesn't like to be held to account for what he does".

 

Richard Pusey is applying for bail. Picture: Michael Dodge/AAP
Richard Pusey is applying for bail. Picture: Michael Dodge/AAP

 

"He has a flagrant disregard for orders made by the court," he said.

During the three-hour bail hearing, which was adjourned until Thursday, disturbing new details emerged about Mr Pusey's actions after a truck hit the four officers last month.

The court heard that as Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor lay on the side of the road groaning, Mr Pusey recorded a three-minute video and "zoomed in" on her.

He told her he just wanted to go home and eat sushi but "now you've f***ed my f***ing car", the court heard.

"There is certainly evidence to say one of the officers was alive (during filming)," Det Sen Const Price told the court.

"He filmed in a calm manner. There's no evidence of shock in his comments."

But Mr Pusey's lawyer argued his client was in shock and is still suffering the effects of what he saw.

"A collision has occurred in the most horrendous of circumstances. It's difficult to conceive of anything good about it," Vincent Peters told the court.

"He witnessed it. It happened in front of him.

"He is very much in need of ongoing psychological treatment."

On the night of the crash, Mr Pusey sent an email to a Victorian police officer explaining what he had seen.

"I feel very unwell as what I saw was horrific," he wrote. "I went to the doctors and he asked me to see him in the morning. Three males died instantly. (Sen Const Taylor) was in a state of shock. She was a nice lady. There was a doctor at the scene within seconds. I was behind the steel barrier just moments before the truck came through. I have to sleep now as my head is fuzzy."

 

Richard Pusey’s lawyer Vincent Peters. Picture: James Ross/AAP
Richard Pusey’s lawyer Vincent Peters. Picture: James Ross/AAP

 

The truck, driven by Mohinder Singh, killed Sen Const Taylor and her colleagues, Senior Constable Kevin King, Constable Glen Humphris and Constable Josh Prestney.

Mr Pusey allegedly grabbed items from his Porsche 911 which had been crushed by the truck. The items included two mobile phones and a bag that police allege contained drugs.

As people stopped on the side of the Eastern Freeway to offer help, Mr Pusey asked for a lift. He allegedly told a witness, "That's my f***ing car, mate."

Mr Pusey is facing charges including driving at a dangerous speed, reckless conduct endangering life, failing to render assistance, destruction of evidence, drug possession, failing to remain after a drug test and committing an indictable offence while on bail.

Yesterday he received three new charges, including two counts of perverting the course of justice and one count relating to drug offences.

Magistrate Joanne Metcalf told lawyers she needed until Thursday to make a decision on whether or not to grant Mr Pusey bail.

Among her considerations is the length of time Mr Pusey could spend on remand before a potential trial. Mr Peters argued that given coronavirus restrictions, the court may not be able to deal with Mr Pusey's matter until 2022.

rohan.smith1@news.com.au | @ro_smith

Originally published as Pusey's 'disturbing pleasure' laid bare


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