A mate of slain man Darko Janceski was warned his life was also in danger after his friend was shot in the thigh earlier this year, a court was told yesterday.
Daki Bubanja was paranoid, worried and constantly "looking over his shoulder" after police informed him that his life was at risk, following the alleged attempted murder of his long-time friend in January.
The latest revelations came during sentencing proceedings for the 26-year-old in Wollongong Local Court yesterday after he pleaded guilty to a slew of driving charges including two high-speed police pursuits.
Defence solicitor Bruce Hall told the court Bubanja's offending was the result of "upheaval" in his life, particularly the fatal shooting of Mr Janceski, who was gunned down outside his parents' Berkeley home on April 14.
Just two weeks later, Mr Hall alleged, Bubanja had been confronted by another vehicle while driving through the Wollongong CBD.
He claimed the driver pulled up alongside Bubanja's vehicle and produced a pistol, forcing Bubanja to race against him.
Mr Hall said Bubanja had not been trying to "outrun" police, who started to chase the car, but had simply feared for his life.
The court was told a police pursuit on April 1 occurred after Bubanja had raced to help Mr Janceski, who was in trouble.
Mr Hall said Bubanja was unaware he had been involved in a chase with police.
Bubanja was also caught driving while suspended on April 20 as he travelled to Mr Janceski's funeral, the court was told.
Mr Hall said Bubanja was due to be released from jail in July next year for an unrelated offence and asked that yesterday's sentence not add to his current term.
Magistrate Michael Stoddart rejected this request, noting that many of the offences were serious.
Bubanja had several passengers in the car during the April 27 pursuit when he travelled nearly double the legal speed limit.
A female passenger, who was unable to buckle her seatbelt during the chase, said she was "scared for her life".
"It was absolutely terrifying . . . I thought this was it," she said.
Bubanja, of Croom, also raced another car on a wet road in Warilla on March 7 before he led police on a chase through the CBD on April 1, crossing onto the incorrect side of the road, driving over roundabouts and reaching speeds of up to 200 km/h.
Mr Stoddart jailed Bubanja until July 2015, fined him nearly $5000 and disqualified him from driving for 14 years.