Porsche driver could seek judge-only trial for ‘sticking point’ charge
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A Porsche driver accused of filming a dying police officer after a road crash could apply for a judge-only trial to decide his case, his lawyer has told a court.
Richard Pusey, 42, has been committed to stand trial on driving charges and the rare offence of outraging public decency over allegations he used his mobile phone to film the aftermath of a crash on the Eastern Freeway in Kew on April 22.
Four police officers were in the emergency lane preparing to arrest Mr Pusey for alleged speeding offences when a truck crashed into the group. Truck driver Mohinder Singh has indicated that he will plead guilty over the crash.
Mr Pusey was on the side of the road when the truck hit and killed Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King and constables Glen Humphris and Josh Prestney.
Mr Pusey, who is alleged to have filmed Leading Senior Constable Taylor while she was critically injured, faced a directions hearing at the County Court on Friday, which heard his lawyers and prosecutors had discussed at length the accused man agreeing to plead guilty. He entered a plea of not guilty when committed to trial.
Prosecutor Robyn Harper said the outraging public decency charge remained a "sticking point". Defence counsel Dermot Dann, QC, agreed and said the discussions between the sides were at an impasse.
Senior Constable Kevin King, Constable Josh Prestney, Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor and Constable Glen Humphris were killed in the Eastern Freeway collision.
Accused people can apply for a judge-only trial if they choose and the option will remain even when jury trials begin again next week.
Many lawyers believe judge-only trials are a good fit for decisions on specific points of law and for cases that carry a degree of notoriety or high publicity.
Mr Pusey had his bail extended and is due to return to court for another directions hearing on December 15.
Mr Singh, 48, on Thursday indicated he would plead guilty to four counts of culpable driving causing death and other charges.
He remains in custody and is to return to court on December 3.
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