After the horrific collision on the Eastern Freeway that killed four police officers was famously filmed, disgraced Porsche driver Richard Pusey tried to use the footage to make a $1.5 million insurance claim, a court heard.
Police allege Pusey, 44, shared graphic photos of the April 2020 crash – some showing the seriously injured officers – online in a Google review of a car dealership and for a complaint to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority.
The former mortgage broker, who identifies as non-binary, will represent himself at the hearing to fight the charges.
Pusey appeared in Sunshine Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday after pleading not guilty to two charges of using a carriage in an abusive manner and two charges of breaching their bail by alleged repeat offence.
Pusey was sentenced to 10 months in prison on 28 April 2021 after being found guilty of outraging public decency by filming the deaths of four police officers. Pusey was pulled over by police for speeding when a truck veered into the emergency lane and fatally struck the four officers.
The court heard that Pusey had posted graphic images of the officers online during two separate complaints about the damage to their Porsche suffered during the tragic collision on the Eastern Freeway.
In a filing with AFCA, Pusey said they were unable to secure an insurance payout for the damage to their car because “no one wants to own the claim.”
“A truck mowed down four hero road safety officers… Smashed a black Porsche and now these cs won’t pay,” they complained to the authorities.
The court heard they sought $1.5 million in damages for the trauma of seeing the officers killed violently in the crash.
However, AFCA’s senior manager in charge of the claim, Harry Ganavas, told the court that the images attached to the claim were inappropriate and Pusey’s description of the events “filled him with disgust”.
“I actually felt repulsed and physically sick when I looked at the pictures,” he said.
Police prosecutor Anthony Albor told the court that one of the images presented did not even show the damage to the Porsche.
The “inappropriate and disrespectful” claim was rejected.
The court heard Pusey also uploaded a one-star Google review for Porsche Center Melbourne in which they criticized the company’s insurance policy and level of customer service.
An investigating officer told the court that the 44-year-old used a graphic picture of one of the police officers bleeding on the roof of a Porsche for his Google profile picture.
The officer said she felt “angry and outraged” when she saw the horrific image of the fatal tragedy.
Albore claimed that an Instagram account called “The Richard Pusey Show” contained a non-confrontational photo showing the damage to the Porsche that they could use in their complaints.
The prosecutor claimed there was a number of personal details on the Instagram account that proved it was run by Pusey.
The Porsche driver told the court the prosecution was “telling a story”.