The Victorian Supreme Court this week sentenced truck driver Mohinder Singh to 22 years in jail for the death of gay police officer Glen Humphris and three others in a fatal crash on the Eastern Freeway in Melbourne last year. Justice Paul Coghlan ordered that Singh has to serve 18 years and six months in jail before he is considered eligible for parole.
The death of the four officers – Constable Humphris, Senior Constable Kevin King, Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor and Constable Joshua Prestney – was one of the deadliest in the history of Victoria Police.
On April 22, 2020, Singh, 48, had crashed his 20-tonne semi-trailer into the four officers who had pulled over Porsche driver Richard Pusey. Singh was high on drugs and had had only five hours of sleep in the 72 hours before the crash.
Singh had pleaded guilty to the charges, including drug trafficking and culpable driving causing death of the officers.
‘Unnecessary Loss of Lives’
Mohinder Singh is about to be sentenced over the Eastern Freeway crash that killed 4 police officers in April 2020. More than 300 people are watching the livestream, the courtroom is at capacity with family members of the fallen officers. @7NewsMelbourne pic.twitter.com/t31NgxG2At
— Jayde Vincent (@JaydeVincent) April 13, 2021
“There are events which shock the public conscience, this has been such an event,” said the judge. “The unnecessary loss of lives of four serving police officers simply going about their duty is a matter of huge community sorrow and regret.”
The judge said that Singh was guilty of culpable driving, with negligence being that he drove despite being fatugued and high on drugs. The court said he was unfit to drive and chracterised his decision to drive as “selfish”.
“Their deaths are entirely unnecessary and should have been avoided. Their deaths were caused by you,” said the judge.
Following the sentencing the families of the slain officers issued a statement outside the Supreme Court of Victoria.
“Even though justice has now been served in relation to the actual collision, no amount of punishment can replace the loss of our loved ones and the missing place at our tables that will be felt by us for the rest of our lives,” Andrew Prestney, the father of Constable Prestney read out the statement on behalf of the families.
“We would like to thank the people of Victoria, the people of Australia, and those from around the world for their outpouring of love and for embracing us with their hearts.
Victoria Police would like to thank the Australian community for their show of support across Australia to honour fallen police officers Constable Glen Humphris, Senior Constable Kevin King, Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor and Constable Joshua Prestney. #WeStandAsOne 💙 pic.twitter.com/gi1ddaUdBK
— Victoria Police (@VictoriaPolice) May 2, 2020
“We are consoled by the fact that our four will not be forgotten as we continue to carry them in our hearts.”
“On behalf of the families and loved ones of Lynette, Kevin, Josh and Glenn, I would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to those members of the public and first responders that were at the scene of the collision on the 22nd of April 2020, for the care and respect that was shown to our loved ones,” he said and thanked the first responders and police who had arrived at the scene following the crash..
‘Seeing A Truck On the Road Is A Constant Reminder Of The Tragedy’
“Mohinder … you took the most important person away from me in the most violent way… My body feels shattered and my heart is empty,” Robinson said, directly addressing Singh.
Robinson said Humphris was only 32 and Singh had not only killed his partner but also destroyed his life. The court heard from Robinson that 11 months after his partner’s death he was left unemployable and with no motivation to be around people.
A very brave and emotional Todd Robinson has spoken beautifully about losing his partner Glen Humphris “I’ve lost my soul mate… no one deserves this”. pic.twitter.com/j55pMDbQWV
— Laurel Irving (@laurelirving7) April 24, 2020
“Your actions on that day and in the days leading up to it didn’t just kill my partner, it destroyed my life and my trust in people.
“For the rest of my life seeing a truck on the road is a constant reminder of the tragic and violent death my partner experienced,” said Robinson.
He said that while the outcome of the trial will not change a thing for him, it was now about “protecting the wider community and raising awareness of the dangers of mixing drugs, fatigue and indeed a heavy vehicle has on the human body.”
Today Victoria Police employees across the state stood at attention for one minute of silence to pay their respects to Constable Glen Humphris.#WeStandAsOne #WeStandToRememberThem pic.twitter.com/ZmyvzqcAyF
— Victoria Police (@VictoriaPolice) May 1, 2020
Robinson told Singh that he would not waste time thinking about his partner’s killer. “I’ve no thoughts or feelings, good or bad towards you. I find spending my time keeping Glen’s memory, love and happiness alive consumes my time, with no room to waste thinking about you.”
Tragedy On Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway
On April 22, 2020, Constable Glen Humphris and senior constable Lynette Taylor had pulled over Porsche driver Richard Pusey for speeding on the Eastern Freeway in Kew. Senior constable Kevin King and constable Josh Prestney arrived to assist their colleagues. The officers were impounding the car, when a truck driven by Singh swerved into the emergency lane crashing into them.
“I’ve never seen anything like it before,” Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said as officers farewelled Constable Glen Humphris.@NSWPolice will escort Glen from Albury to his final resting place.#westandasone #westandtorememberthem pic.twitter.com/uytWK0Moik
— Victoria Police (@VictoriaPolice) May 2, 2020
Singh had dealt and used drugs before the crash and had rested for only five hours in the prior 72 hours. Shift manager, Simiona Tuteru who allegedly brushed away concerns raised by a supervisor and Singh himself about his fitness to drive, is facing manslaughter charges as well. The Porsche driver Pusey, who filmed a dying officer after the accident, recently pleaded guilty to outraging public decency.
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