A truck driver who had been on a drug bender for days before causing a fatal crash which killed four police officers will spend no less than 18 and a half years behind bars.
Mohinder Singh, 48, thought he was being chased by a witch in the moments leading up to the horrific crash on Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway on April 22 last year.
He had only slept for five hours over the past three days when he ran his truck into Leading Senior Constable Lynnette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King and constables Glen Humphris and Josh Prestney.
Left to right: Constable Glen Humphris, Senior Constable Kevin King, Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor and Constable Joshua Prestney all died in the crash
Mohinder Singh arrives at the Supreme Court of Victoria in Melbourne on Wednesday before his sentence
Singh was sentenced to a total of 22 years by Justice Paul Coghlan – 12 years for each of the four lives he claimed.
The families of all of the four victims watched on within the Supreme Court of Victoria on Wednesday as Singh’s fate was sealed.
Dressed in grey prison garb, the cop killer sat quietly throughout his sentence, which went for more than an hour.
The four officers had been impounding a Porsche driven by mortgage broker driver Richard Pusey when they were struck and killed by Singh’s semi-trailer.
Singh was brought to the Supreme Court of Victoria in chains on Wednesday and under heavy police guard.
In sentencing, Justice Paul Coghlan condemned Singh for his offending, describing the video of the incident as ‘chilling’.
‘The police officers had no hope,’ he said.
Justice Coghlan described the crash as ‘entirely unnecessary’ and ‘could have been avoided’.
The court heard Singh had been told to get some rest before he got behind the wheel that day.
For two whole seconds before he ran the police officers down, alarms in Singh’s truck warned him to stop.
Parents of Josh Prestney, Andrew and Belinda, arrive at the Supreme Court of Victoria in Melbourne during Singh’s plea hearing
In chains: Mohinder Singh arrives at the Supreme Court of Victoria in Melbourne on Wednesday
The partner of Constable Glen Humphris, Todd Robinson (centre in light blue suit), arrives at the Supreme Court of Victoria in Melbourne during Singh’s plea
Mohinder Singh arrives at the Supreme Court of Victoria in Melbourne before his pre-sentence hearing last month
Mohinder Singh’s truck careered off the highway and into the car of Richard Pusey, who had been pulled over by the officers for speeding
Killer’s Ride Into Chaos
No-one but Singh will truly know the reasons why his life had descended into a blur of drugs and booze.
He had emigrated to Australia with his parents in November 1980 and lived in New South Wales until 2005 when he moved to Victoria.
He had been driving trucks since 1989, doing long hauls in the dead of night.
Like many a long haul driver before him, Singh began taking amphetamines to keep him alert on the road.
He had been on a six month probation run with Connect Logistics when his life spiralled out of control.
On April 21 he injected meth into his system inside the very truck he would later use as an unguided missile along the Eastern Freeway.
Singh had told the friend he believed he had been cursed by a witch.
He had hardly slept for days on end.
At about 6.30pm, Singh met a customer on the side of the road and sold him 19 grams of cannabis for $100 in a plastic shopping bag.
By 1am the next day, April 22, he was back at work.
At 7.30am Singh was dealing more drugs.
By 5pm he was back behind the wheel of his truck.
Yet again, he stopped off to make a drug deal on the side of the road.
This time, it would be his last.
At just on 22 seconds past 5.36pm that day, Singh’s truck swerved into the emergency lane where the vehicle’s front mounted radar sensor detected the stationary police vehicles in front of the truck.
The truck triggered a ‘Forward Collision Warning Event’, which projected a red flashing light onto the inside of the windscreen.
Crash experts later found Singh never hit the brakes and the only reason the truck stopped at all was because the vehicle itself had done so.
Singh had spent the previous few days on a bender smoking ice and cannabis and downing bottles of booze.
When not taking drugs, he was on the streets selling them himself.
Singh’s own drug clients had repeatedly told him to get some sleep.
‘He was off it. He was talking nonsense. He was saying the witches are coming and we have to leave,’ one customer later told police.
‘I had never seen anyone as drug f**ked in my life. He hadn’t slept for eight days.’
Motorists who observed Singh on the freeway that day described Singh’s truck as being out of control and veering repeatedly into the emergency lane.
‘This dude’s going to f**king kill someone,’ a witness told his mum.
The court heard Singh was so trashed he had delusions he was being followed by a witch who had chased him through paddocks and sat in his passenger seat.
‘He said she wouldn’t leave the car no matter how much he begged,’ a drug-using friend of Singh’s told police.
Other witnesses said Singh was so tired he couldn’t speak in the days leading up to the accident.
The truck driver admitted to selling ice and cannabis to a number of associates.
Family of Mohinder Singh arrive at the Supreme Court of Victoria for his sentence hearing in Melbourne on Wednesday
The funeral procession lines up during the funeral of Constable Josh Prestney on May 4 last year.
Floral tributes before the funeral of Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor at the Victoria Police Academy in Melbourne last April
Mohinder Singh thought he was being chased by a witch in the moments leading up the the horrific crash on Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway on April 22
Pusey himself pleaded guilty last month to several charges after filming the crash site and taunting a senior constable as she lay dying.
Pusey avoided being struck in the crash as he had been urinating off to the side of the road.
He fled the scene and was arrested a day after the crash on April 23.
The deaths of Leading Senior Constable Lynnette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King and constables Glen Humphris and Josh Prestney was the biggest loss of officer lives in a single incident in Victoria Police’s history.
In sentencing, Justice Coghlan accepted Singh would likely do hard time behind bars.
The families of the deceased are expected to address the public shortly.
Singh was brought to court on Wednesday under heavy guard
Family and friends of the police officers’ killed by Mohinder Singh arrive at court tio hear his sentence on Wednesday
Richard Pusey, the driver of a Porsche who allegedly fled the scene of the truck crash, is taken away from his Fitzroy property by police on April 23