Mohinder Singh, the truck driver responsible for the deaths of four police officers on Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway last year, will spend at least 18.5 years behind bars.
Justice Paul Coghlan today sentenced him to a maximum jail term of 22 years, but Singh, who has been on remand since the April 22, 2020 crash, will be eligible for parole in 17 years and six months after he spent the past year in prison.
Singh, 48, was sentenced in Victoria’s Supreme Court after pleading guilty to four counts of culpable driving causing death, three charges of trafficking a drug of dependence, and one charge of possession of a drug of dependence.
In sentencing the father of two, Justice Coghlan told the court that the incident had profoundly changed the lives of the families of the officers killed, Constables Glen Humphris and Joshua Prestney, Senior Constable Kevin King and Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor.
“The police officers had no hope,” Justice Coghlan said.
“Their deaths are entirely unnecessary and should have been avoided. Their deaths were caused by you.”
It has since been revealed that Singh was seriously sleep deprived, with the court hearing that he could have only had five hours of rest in the three days before the collision.
He was also a prolific ice user, a habit which had made him actively psychotic at the time, causing him to see witches and believe in aliens.
His lawyer, Peter Morrissey SC, also told the Supreme Court that his client had allegedly received “significant pressure” from his boss, trucking manager Simiona Tuteru, to deliver one more load.
Morrissey told the court that the men prayed together before Tuteru allegedly said: “You are now healed, now take those chickens to Thomastown,” reports ABC News.
Tuteru has been charged with manslaughter over the crash but is planning to contest the allegations against him.
Singh has apologised to the families of the four police officers.