The truck driver responsible for the deaths of four police officers on Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway is appealing his 22-year sentence because he believes it’s “too harsh”.
While severely sleep-deprived and high on drugs, Mohinder Singh ploughed into four police officers who were standing in the freeway’s emergency lane on April 22, 2020.
Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King and constables Glen Humphris and Josh Prestney, had pulled over a driver who was caught doing 149k/h, when the unthinkable happened.
The prolific ice user was actively psychotic at the time and believed a witch was chasing him in the lead up to the crash.
His ice habit caused him to see witches and believe in aliens.
During his trial, it was heard that Singh had slept for only five hours in three days.
Singh was ordered to serve 22 years behind bars over the officers’ deaths.
On Monday however, less than 18 months after being jailed, Singh appeared in the Court of Appeal, pleading for three justices to reduce his sentence.
He argues that the sentence is “manifestly excessive”.
ABC News reports that Singh’s lawyer, Peter Morrissey SC, told Justices Karin Emerton, Emilios Kyrou and Terry Forrest that his client was “frail and fragile psychologically” when he got behind the wheel.
“His decision to drive arose in a most unusual setting where he, no doubt because of drug ingestion and because of that psychosis, was in a remarkably frail state,” Morrissey said.
“He was beset with the idea that he was supernaturally haunted by witches.”
Families of the victims attended court to hear the appeal, where the court reserved its decision.
Victoria’s Chief Crown Prosecutor Brendan Kissane QC says Singh’s sentences are appropriate.
“He got into the truck and signed a fitness-to-drive certificate,” said Kissane.
“He stopped to supply an associate with methylamphetamine on the side of the road… before driving towards Thomastown.
“The decision to drive was ultimately that of the applicant and there is no external circumstance.”
Kissane urged the court to knock back the appeal.