Family of Josh Prestney farewells killed Victoria Police constable in Melbourne service


In the moments before he was taken to his final place of rest, Alexander Prestney placed his hands and then his head on his older brother’s coffin and wept.

His tears fell on an Australian flag that draped a casket already damp from the dark sky.

As he grieved, his mother Belinda placed her left hand gently on his crown, her right clutching the partner of the son she had lost, Stacey.

His father, Andrew, simply watched on with the sorrow that comes with burying a child.

Mourners wearing small blue-and-white ribbons stood on the steps of the chapel at Xavier College in Melbourne, rubbing away tears while they clung to an order of service bearing the young constable’s police graduation photo.

As Joshua Prestney’s body was taken away, led by a Catholic priest, a chief commissioner, a retired reverend and a chaplain, his family were once again confronted with the terrible, unwanted tragedy that has sent Victoria into mourning.

On April 22 this year, Constable Prestney, 28, was standing in the emergency lane on the Eastern Freeway in Kew, preparing to impound a black Porsche 911 being driven by Richard Pusey, who was allegedly driving at 149kph.

With him was Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Constable Glen Humphris and Senior Constable Kevin King.

Constable Prestney was fresh out of the academy and had been placed at the Nunawading Highway Patrol as part of his extended training.

He had only graduated in December and it was his brother who presented him with his freddy, the badge all police carry, inscribed with the motto, Tenez Le Droit or Uphold The Right.

Constable Joshua Prestney (left) was presented with his police badge by his brother, Alex (right), who is also an officer.
Constable Joshua Prestney (left) was only presented with his Victoria Police badge by his brother, Alex, in December.(Supplied)

The events of that day were meant to be unremarkable. For the officers who stood on the shoulder of the freeway, it was supposed to be nothing more than a traffic stop.

But that night none returned home, for moments later a truck driven by Mohinder Singh, 47, slammed into them.

All four died at the scene in the single deadliest incident for officers in Victoria Police’s history.

Mr Singh, 47 has since been charged with four counts of culpable driving causing death.

Mr Pusey, 41, is facing nine charges including drug possession, destroying evidence and speeding.

Constable Prestney was the last officer to be laid to rest.

Like his brothers and sisters in blue, his funeral was significantly smaller than it would have been due to coronavirus measures.

Joshua Prestney (right) has been remembered by his family as a "bright light".
Joshua Prestney (right) has been remembered by his family as a “bright light”.(Supplied)

His father, Andrew, said that since his son’s death, his life had been shrouded in fog.

“It’s the world’s worst rollercoaster … we just want to get off,” he told Melbourne radio station Triple M.

He said his son was his hero.

“We did so much together, we had trips to Bali, we always went camping over the Melbourne Cup weekend. We would go interstate to compete in an Ironman,” he said.

“He’s my best mate.”



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