Matthew Paul Wiggins entered custody on Wednesday a young, fit, well-groomed man in the prime of his life.
By the time he leaves, he will likely be middle aged, sporting grey hair and left with only dreams of a life that could have been.
Still, it’s a better fate than the miserable one that befell Darko Janceski on the afternoon of April 14, 2012.
Janceski, a known stand-over man for the Comancheros outlaw motorcycle gang, was gunned down in a brazen daylight shooting outside his parents’ home in Berkeley.
He had been working on a car in the front yard when a motorcycle pulled up, it’s rider firing seven shots towards Janceski, three of which hit him.
Janceski’s father, Slobodan, ran outside the house and confronted the shooter with a garden stake. The two wrestled but the gunman eventually got the better of Slobodan, who ended up with fractures to his eye socket, nose and jaw.
The culprit then escaped on the motorbike, leaving the gun, a helmet, sunglasses and a dying Darko at the scene.
It took police nine months to properly investigate the shooting and gather enough evidence to lay charges in January 2013.
They named Wiggins, now 29, as the trigger man, claiming he had been motivated by the death of a close friend, who he believed had been murdered by Janceski in November 2011.
Meantime, several others alleged to have played integral parts in the murder plot were also arrested, however most eventually had their charges dropped after the cases against them were found wanting.
But apparently not so the case against Wiggins: Just before 3pm on Wednesday, after a three days of deliberations, a jury found beyond reasonable doubt that it had been Wiggins riding the motorbike that day and that he was responsible for fatally shooting Janceski.
He was also found guilty of intentionally causing grievous bodily harm to Slobodan.
The verdicts end a fact-finding mission that has spanned six years, two failed Supreme Court trials and lengthy court delays.
Wiggins spent 11 months behind bars before being granted strict conditional bail in the NSW Supreme Court in November 2013.
That bail was revoked on Wednesday, with Wiggins now in the custody of NSW Corrective Services.
He will face sentencing in June.