A Wollongong thug who left a man with two gaping wounds on his back after attacking him with a meat cleaver during a frenzied home invasion at Figtree has been sentenced to more than six years in jail.
Steven Lawrence and an unknown co-offender burst through the door of the Princes Highway home in the early hours of May 29 last year and confronted the six adults inside.
Both men wore dark clothing and had masks covering their faces. Lawrence was armed with a meat cleaver, his accomplice with a large kitchen knife.
The pair brandished the weapons at the group, who were screaming at them to get out.
The male victim yelled "what are you doing, leave, get out" before jumping on top of the lounge.
Two others tried to leave the room but Lawrence's accomplice stopped them, saying "no one is leaving. Go and sit down and listen to what I've got to say".
The victim later told police he began to approach the pair in a bid to "take control" but they came towards him and stabbed him.
Lawrence then began wrestling with his co-offender one the ground, at which time his mask was knocked off, revealing his identity to the group.
The victim tried to escape through the front door but was stabbed again. He managed to run outside where he collapsed on the ground as Lawrence and his ally fled the scene.
Emergency services were contacted and the victim was taken to Wollongong Hospital where he underwent surgery for two deep gashes to his back.
Forensic police examined the scene, discovering the blade of the meat cleaver in the loungeroom.
Meanwhile, DNA from a blood-stained dark jacket found in the neighbouring property was matched to the victim and Lawrence.
Lawrence handed himself into Wollongong Police Station on July 9 and was charged with specially aggravated break and enter, to which he pleaded guilty.
In Wollongong District Court this week, Judge Andrew Haesler said Lawrence had an unenviable record of offending stemming from a background of deprivation.
"He had little advantages as a child; his mother has her own problems...his grandmother did it tough with a number of children and grandchildren to look after," he said.
"He has strong pro-social models in the community and assistance if he takes up the offers.
"He needs to escape the cycle of crime - custody - release - crime. It's in the community interest that he engage in and learn about normal community life."
Judge Haesler set an overall sentence of six years and two months' jail, with a non-parole period of three years and eight months.
With time served, Lawrence will be eligible for parole in July 2022.