An Australian man has received a 10-month jail sentence for filming and mocking police officers as they lay dying at a crash scene.
Last month Richard Pusey pleaded guilty to the rare charge of outraging public decency, as well as other offences.
The 42-year-old has already been in custody for nearly 300 days, so he will likely complete his sentence within days.
On Wednesday, the sentencing judge called his actions “heartless, cruel and disgraceful”.
Pusey’s case has stirred huge public anger. Last month, judge Trevor Wraight said the media had demonised Pusey to the point where he was “probably the most hated man in Australia”.
The mortgage broker had been speeding in his Porsche on a Melbourne freeway last year when he was pulled over by four police officers.
While they were arresting him, all four were struck by a lorry that veered out of its lane.
All four officers died at the scene.
Pusey was standing a few metres away and was not hit by the truck but afterwards pulled out his phone and began filming.
The court had heard that Pusey stood over and taunted the female senior constable as she lay pinned under the lorry. Experts said she was most likely still alive at the time.
“There you go. Amazing, absolutely amazing,” he said, according to footage from the constable’s body camera which was exhibited in court.
“All I wanted was to go home and have some sushi,” he added, swearing at the dying officers for ruining his sports car.
He fled the scene shortly after and the next day was arrested at his home and initially charged with speeding, drug possession and reckless conduct offences.
Police then discovered his videos of the scene and found that he had shared them among friends.
On Wednesday,the judge condemned Pusey’s behaviour while noting he was only being sentenced for his actions. Pusey hadn’t caused the deaths of the officers, contrary to some public opinion, the judge said.
“Your conduct in recording the police officers in their dying moments, together with the words you used as you recorded, was not only derogatory and horrible but it was also callous and reprehensible conduct,” he told Pusey.
He noted that Pusey had a history of mental health problems, including a complex personality disorder “which may go some way to explaining your behaviour”. But he said it did not excuse his actions.
Pusey had previously testified that he felt ashamed about the videos and that he often said offensive things “because that’s how it comes out of my head”.
He was also fined A$1,000 (US$774), put on a two-year good behaviour bond, and had his driver’s licence suspended.
Local media reported that the offence of outraging public decency is rarely prosecuted in Australia. Prosecutors in the case referred to the 2007 case of a man in England, who was jailed for three years for urinating on a woman as she lay dying.
The lorry driver, Mohinder Singh, was jailed earlier this month for 22 years for causing the deaths.
A court found that he had been high on drugs, suffering delusions and hallucinations, and driving erratically when he ploughed his truck into the officers.