Pusey, 42, was sentenced in Victoria’s County Court today, appearing via video link from his prison cell.
He will serve just a few additional days in prison for these charges, with Judge Trevor Wraight noting the 296 days he has already been in jail for would count as time served.
However, he will not walk free just yet as he still remains in custody over other pending criminal matters.
Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King and constables Glen Humphris and Josh Prestney all died in the tragedy.
He had also pleaded guilty to exceeding the speed limit when travelling 149km/h down the 100km/h freeway near Kew, while dangerously weaving through cars.
He admitted to reckless conduct endangering serious injury to other motorists by driving at high speeds, as well as possessing drugs, including MDMA and ketamine.
The outraging public decency charge relates to Pusey filming a minute-long video of the dying police officers, including Leading Senior Constable Taylor who laid on the road “moaning” in pain.
The court heard he failed to render assistance to the officers – instead zooming in on their fatal injuries while making disturbing commentary.
When first responders asked him to help the dying officers, including to hold a blanket, Pusey continued to film.
His case is the first time the outraging public decency offence has been formally charged in Australia.
Judge Wraight described Pusey’s conduct as “heartless, cruel and disgraceful” in the sentencing hearing today, noting his case represented a “serious example” of outraging public decency.
“(It) was not only derogatory and horrible, but it was also callous and reprehensible conduct,” he said.
“A normal human reaction for a person coming upon a scene like this would be to telephone triple-zero.
“What you did, however, was film the scene with a running commentary.”
The judge added Pusey seemed to “take pleasure” out of the destruction of the police officers.
“It can also be described as extremely insensitive and heartless,” he said.
“Your focus was entirely on yourself.”
However, the judge found there was evidence of Pusey having “genuine remorse” over his conduct following the accident.
Pusey later described his own actions as “derogatory” and “horrible”.
Witnesses had observed Pusey to be in “some form of shock” and visibly distressed in the aftermath of the crash, Judge Wraight said.
He added Pusey did not upload any footage of the accident to social media.
The court heard yesterday a Corrections Victoria report found Pusey was too high-profile and “unpopular” to serve his sentence in the community.
Judge Wraight said he was “astounded” by the attitude of Corrections, calling the findings which deemed Pusey unsuitable for a community order as “quite disturbing”.
It follows remarks by Judge Wraight in a hearing last month that Pusey appeared to have become “the most hated man in Australia”.
Following the crash, Pusey’s home was vandalised and egged. He has also been victim to a number of threats, all of which has affected his mental health, the court heard.
The court today heard Pusey requires ongoing psychological and psychiatric treatment due to his personality disorder.
His driver’s licence has been suspended for two years and he will be required to pay a $1000 fine for his reckless driving.
Families speak after sentence handed down
The devastated husband of fallen officer Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor has blasted Pusey’s sentence, describing it as “totally inappropriate”.
In a tearful speech outside court, Stuart Schultz said the sentence did not bring his wife justice in relation to Pusey’s “outrageous behaviour”.
“Every time that commentary is made, it tears at my heart and soul and the pain is almost unbearable,” he told reporters.
“It is difficult to comprehend that the court did not seem to understand that when the evidence of outrageous behaviour is put before it, it is its duty to set the appropriate standard.
“This is the expectation of the community. If the court sets this level of punishment in a case that is too lenient, parts of our community now understand they now have a benchmark for accepted behaviour.”
The father of Constable Josh Prestney said the family “acknowledged” the apology given by Pusey for his actions, but he did not say whether they accepted it.
“I don’t think that’s going to change that person,” Andrew Prestney said.
He added the family were just “relieved” the court process had concluded.