He will now face trial in the County Court on a charge of drug possession, plus reckless conduct endangering serious injury and reckless conduct endangering death, which relate to alleged speeding.
He will also face trial for the rare offence of outraging public decency after Magistrate Donna Bakos disagreed with Mr Pusey’s legal team, which had argued the charge didn’t exist in Australia.
Mr Pusey has pleaded not guilty.
Ms Bakos on Wednesday ruled there was not enough evidence to support a conviction in relation to the charges of failing to render assistance after an accident, destruction of evidence and two counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
The prosecution also withdrew a charge of committing an indictable offence while on bail, leaving Mr Pusey facing a total of 11 charges.
Mr Pusey’s lawyer Dermot Dann, QC, argued his client should be granted bail under “very stringent” conditions, including a ban on driving and contacting witnesses, and being subject to a curfew and mandated mental health treatment.
He said his client had been trying unsuccessfully to get a placement at a psychiatric treatment facility. Mr Pusey may not face trial until late 2022, and could spend longer in custody than the eventual sentence he receives, Mr Dann said.
After a period of estrangement, Mr Pusey now has the support of his parents, Mr Dann added.
“What occurred after the tragic death of the four police officers was that my client’s mother publicly issued a statement expressing deepest sympathy to families of the deceased officers,” he said.
“At the same time, publicly, she condemned the alleged actions or non-actions of her son publicly. At that time she also indicated that she had become estranged from Mr Pusey.
“Since going into custody … there has been a reaching out from both sides so that there has been reunification. So much so that the parents support this application for bail.”
Mr Dann said the support wasn’t open-ended and “comes with strict parameters”.
“It’s support acknowledging that this man has serious problems with his personality and social functioning … his parents indicate their support for bail is all married up with treatment, proper treatment specialised treatment.
“It’s submitted that involvement from his parents in that context is meaningful, very meaningful.”
Mr Dann said Mr Pusey also has the support of his wife of 12 years, who has assured police she will contact them if her husband breaches his bail conditions.
But Detective Senior Constable Aaron Price said Mr Pusey’s wife had not been fully co-operative or transparent with police following the April 22 crash.
Detective Price said Mr Pusey was an unacceptable risk of endangering the safety and welfare of the public due to his driving behaviour.
“The accused has demonstrated an incredible disregard for the safety of other road users,” he said.
“He has also demonstrated disregard for the enforcement of road law by paying in the region of $6000 to have a set of blinders fitted to his motor vehicle, which are specialised devices that essentially block or jam a device that police use to detect the speed of a motor vehicle.”
The “blinders” were found on Mr Pusey’s car and are currently undergoing further testing, Detective Price said, but a preliminary report by a mechanic found the anti-speed-measuring device is of a “sophisticated nature”.
He also held concerns that Mr Pusey could try to contact or intimidate prosecution witnesses.
“He is a manipulative, controlling man and when he clashes with people or doesn’t agree with [them], he resorts to all sorts of tactics, mainly harassment, verbal abuse and intimidation.”
Detective Price said he would hold concerns, even if strict bail conditions were set.
“The accused picks and chooses which laws he wishes to follow which suit him. This will not suit him and he will probably not follow it,” he said.
“My concerns are that the accused does have the tendency to enjoy driving fast in what I describe as flashy cars. My concerns are that if it was a condition of bail that said he couldn’t drive motor vehicles, I’m not comfortable that would ameliorate the risk to an acceptable level.”
Ms Bakos will rule on the bail application on Friday morning.
Mr Pusey, who was present at the online hearing via video link from jail, sat quietly wearing a face mask and green jumper. His wife was also present.
His lawyers argued during the committal hearing that the mortgage broker been “seriously overcharged” by police.
They said the rare charge of outraging public decency, which relates to Mr Pusey’s behaviour after the crash, does not exist in Australia.
But in her written judgment, Ms Bakos said English criminal law was imported into the colony of NSW, and later became applicable in Victoria.
“I agree with [prosecutor] Ms Harper that the common law offence of ‘outraging public decency’ does in fact exist in Australia,” she said.
“There is no evidence that the offence has been abrogated by legislation. While it is accepted that senior courts reformulate and at times reject existing laws to take account of changing social conditions, there is no Australian authority stating clearly any such variation or rejection of this offence.”
Investigators allege Mr Pusey used his phone to film one of the dying police officers, Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, and said: “There you go. Amazing, absolutely amazing. All I wanted to do was go home and have my sushi.”
He is also alleged to have said: “Now you f—ed my f—ing car.”
Ms Bakos said she believed a jury could decide these actions were “at the highest end of what is disgusting, repugnant, repulsive or offensive” as she committed Mr Pusey for trial on the charge.
The charge of reckless conduct endangering serious injury relates to Mr Pusey allegedly speeding at 149km/h in a 100km/h zone on the Eastern Freeway on the day of the crash.
The charge of reckless conduct endangering death relates to another alleged speeding incident, in which Mr Pusey is accused of driving at speeds of 300km/h between Collingwood and Doncaster on March 21.
Both of these charges will proceed to trial in the County Court.
Leading Senior Constable Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King and constables Glen Humphris and Josh Prestney died in the Eastern Freeway crash.
The truck driver, Mohinder Singh, 47, was initially charged with four counts of culpable driving causing death in the days after the April 22 crash.
He was charged with 33 additional offences in August, including allegedly supplying drugs to a child.
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Simone is a crime reporter for The Age. Most recently she covered breaking news for The Age, and before that for The Australian in Melbourne.