Two Illawarra men have admitted their involvement in an early morning shooting at Oak Flats that left their victim with shotgun shrapnel lodged in his forearm.
Caine Jacob Collins and David Murray had been due to stand trial in Wollongong District Court this week on a shoot with intent to murder charge stemming from the June 20, 2015 incident.
However, the pair agreed to plead to lesser charges in a deal nutted out by lawyers on Tuesday.
Collins, who fired the gun, entered a guilty plea to shoot with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, while Murray, the getaway driver, admitted being an accessory after the fact.
Court documents reveal the victim owed Collins’ then-girlfriend $300 but had repeatedly refused to pay her in the weeks leading up to the shooting.
The woman organised to visit the victim at a house in Brigadoon Circuit in the early hours of June 20.
She told Collins she intended to collect her money from the man, prompting Collins to say he would accompany her to the house “for protection”.
The pair drove the woman’s white Mazda sedan to the Oak Flats property, stopping on the way at a house in Koonawarra to pick up a blue and black sports bag.
The woman entered the house around 5am while Collins remained outside, however the court heard he sent her a number of text messages over the next 30 minutes asking for details on how many people were inside the house and where they were positioned.
The woman passed on the information to Collins. At 5.29am, Collins messaged told the woman via text message he was going to start “shotinging [sic] windows” if she didn’t come out of the house in one minute.
The victim and another man were smoking a cigarette with the woman on the front verandah of the house a few minutes later when a masked Collins stepped out of nearby bush and fired a sawn-off shotgun directly at the victim.
The man managed to turn his body right, causing the pellets to hit him in the left forearm, thigh, flank and buttock.
Collins and the woman fled the scene in different directions. The woman was later seen getting into her Mazda, which was being driven by Murray. She told police Collins was already in the vehicle.
The victim was airlifted to hospital and underwent surgery.
Police confirmed some of the shotgun pellets remain lodged in his arm and he continues to suffer from nerve damage.
Collins, Murray and the woman were subsequently arrested.
The woman stood trial earlier this year and was acquitted on all charges.
Collins and Murray remain behind bars and will be sentenced later this year.