Simon De Wet was full of bravado in the hours after he was accused of kidnapping and violently assaulting a man who owed him money in July 2012.
Brushing aside the allegations - namely that he bit part of the man's ear off during the sustained attack - De Wet sat back in his chair in an interview room at Wollongong Police Station and told officers that those responsible for the attack were "bloody animals".
Almost two years on, it was a far more humble De Wet who faced Wollongong District Court on Thursday, having already confessed to the crime late last year and now being ready to accept his punishment.
The court heard that De Wet had organised the assault because of an outstanding grievance against the victim, who had already gone into hiding.
However, one of De Wet's co-accused tracked the victim down at his mother's house and volunteered to set up the sting, leaving one of the home's doors ajar so De Wet's men could access the house later on.
Four men grabbed the victim on the evening of July 25, driving him to an area near Bellambi swimming pool, where they were met by De Wet.
The man was then viciously assaulted, and De Wet bit off part of his right ear.
Once alone, the victim sought help from a friend who lived nearby and was taken to hospital.
DNA swabs taken from the man's ear were matched to De Wet.
In a bid to give some context to his cruel behaviour, De Wet told the court on Thursday that he was a "paranoid", "crazy" mess at the time of the attack, hearing voices in his head and addicted to crystal meth and Xanax.
"Do you believe if you hadn't have been on drugs you would have behaved in that fashion?" De Wet's lawyer, James Trevallion asked him.
"No, I would have been thinking clearly," De Wet replied.
"The police facts describe quite a barbaric act - would you agree with that?" Mr Trevallion further asked.
"Yes," De Wet said, adding he wanted to apologise to the victim, whom he had considered a friend at the time.
"It should never have happened. It brought a lot of pain into my life and caused harm to [the victim] ... It was unnecessary, uncalled for."
The case was adjourned to April 30 for judgment.
De Wet faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in jail.