Pusey bail bid: Magistrate sees prison intercepts too sensitive to be read aloudApril 29, 2022
Police are fighting a new bid for freedom from Eastern Freeway Porsche driver Richard Pusey, arguing communications he has made while in prison show he’s too great a risk to public safety to be released.
The contents of two intercepted phone calls and a handwritten letter were delivered to a magistrate in a sealed envelope on Friday, as Sunshine Magistrates’ Court heard they were too sensitive to be read aloud.
Pusey is on remand, facing four charges – two each of using a carriage service to cause offence and committing an indictable offence on bail – relating to the alleged distribution of graphic images taken at the 2020 freeway crash site, where four officers died.
On Friday, the 43-year-old represented himself in an application for bail, arguing delays in his case and difficulties accessing material for his own defence meant he should be released from custody.
Pusey’s latest charges relate to allegations he emailed graphic images from the freeway tragedy as part of a complaint against his insurance company for declining to cover repairs for his car, which was damaged in the crash.
The former mortgage broker also allegedly posted an online Google review for Porsche Centre Melbourne that contained a similar graphic image.
Pusey after his release from prison last year.Credit:Joe Armao
On Friday, the court heard police were concerned that if Pusey were granted bail, there was a risk he could continue to access and use those images, which were believed to be in an iCloud account that investigators had been unable to access.
Acting Sergeant Joshua Parker said police were also concerned Pusey may harm undisclosed members of the public and commit further offences if released.
Pusey has been on remand since February and the officer said police were aware of concerning phone calls and communications he had made while behind bars, including a phone call made on March 10 and another to the office of the Health Complaints Commissioner.
Details of those prison intelligence intercepts were handed to Magistrate Michelle Mykytowycz in a sealed paper envelope. She declined to read the contents out loud or permit others to do so, citing their sensitive nature.
A previous sketch of Pusey in court.Credit:Nine News
Pusey argued that despite police concerns, he was not a risk of reoffending or harming others and believed any potential future prison sentence he may receive would be shorter than time spent on remand.
He said access to phone calls and photocopying in custody was onerous and the criminal justice system had shown him a lack of care. Difficulties with Corrections Victoria meant he’d missed four previous hearings, he said.
The hearing came a week after the second anniversary of the Eastern Freeway tragedy, which killed officers Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King and constables Josh Prestney and Glen Humphris.
The officers had pulled Pusey over for speeding when they were struck by a semitrailer and killed.
In April last year, he was sentenced to 10 months’ jail after pleading guilty to outraging public decency for filming the aftermath of the crash.
Pusey’s bail application was adjourned to May 19.
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