Porsche driver to fight charges over cop kill crash
Lawyers for the Porsche driver who filmed a dying policewoman on the Eastern Freeway have questioned whether the offence of outraging public decency even exists in Australia as negotiations hit a stalemate.
Richard Pusey, 41, appeared in Melbourne Magistrates' Court via video link from prison on Thursday, where his legal team said work to resolve the case had failed because the prosecution was refusing to back down.
Top barrister Dermot Dann, QC, said they had not been able to find a case involving the common law offence in Australia in the past 100 years.
"Our position in respect to that charge is it can't be made out legally; it can't be made out factually," Mr Dann said.
He said the court would need to determine if the charge ever existed or still exists in this country.
"We are trying to resolve this matter as quickly as possible," Mr Dann said.
In charge sheets, released to the Herald Sun, the offence in question relates to Mr Pusey allegedly committing "an act of an obscene or disgusting nature outraging public decency" when he filmed the crash scene.
"He used a mobile phone to make audio-visual recordings of the victims of a fatal motor vehicle collision whilst making a commentary in relation to his observations," the charge alleges.
The offence has mostly been used in Britain and requires the prosecution to prove the act was done in a place open to the public, or in a public view, and could have been seen by two or more people.
A highly publicised case in the late 1980s was that of Canadian sculptor Rick Gibson, who was fined 500 pounds in a London court after using two freeze-dried human fetuses as earrings on a mannequin at one of his exhibitions.
Other cases in the UK include a man who was caught filming up women's skirts in 2003 and another man found to be receiving oral sex in a bank foyer in 2005.
Magistrate Donna Bakos ordered the parties to return before her later in the month so she could determine if the charge in question was made out.
Wearing a mask and a green prison jumper, Mr Pusey, 41, appeared via videolink from Melbourne Assessment Prison, for the hearing.
He has been in custody since the crash after being refused bail.
The mortgage broker is charged with 15 offences, including reckless conduct endangering life, failing to render assistance, destroying evidence, committing an act outraging public decency and behaving in an indecent manner.
The allegations centre around the Eastern Fwy tragedy where four Victoria Police officers - Leading Sen Constable LynetteTaylor, Senior Constable Kevin King, Constable Josh Prestney and Constable Glen Humphris - were killed on April 22.
The officers were taking part in a roadside intercept after allegedly clocking Mr Pusey at 149kmh when a truck veered into the emergency lane and struck them.
He avoided being injured, having walked to the verge to urinate moments earlier.
But an earlier court heard he quickly rushed to his wrecked Porsche to grab his mobile phones and started filming, zooming in on Sen Constable Taylor as she lay crushed between his car and the truck calling for help.
Mr Pusey will return to court on August 26.
Originally published as Porsche driver to fight Eastern Freeway crash charges