Career criminal Jason Rees had been out of jail for less than three months when he terrorised a family with a replica gun, made a daring escape from prison authorities and almost severed a man's fingers in a tomahawk attack.
Rees committed the heinous and violent crimes over a three-day, drug-fuelled rampage in March 2017, leaving terrified victims and thousands of dollars worth of damaged property in his wake.
On Friday, he was sentenced to six years and four months' jail, with a non-parole period of four years and four months.
He will be eligible to apply for parole in October 2021 (with time already served), however Judge Andrew Haesler said Rees would have to "earn" his release and was candid about the 45-year-old's chances of remaining a free man: "his prosecutes of rehabilitation are, at the moment, grim."
He said Rees' had spent "decades of his life in adult jails" care of his lengthy criminal record.
"He had been released on parole and was in the community for less than three months before committing these offences," he said.
"It's clear he's become institutionalised. Anti-social behaviour has become normal for him, as has serious crime."
Court documents said Rees pulled up on a motorbike outside a Woonona home on March 2 and asked the owner if she wanted to buy a bike.
When she said no, Rees became agitated and aggressive and pulled a gun from his pants, saying "do you want to play games" before storming off.
Rees and the gun - a replica pistol - were apprehended a short time later.
Rees was taken to hospital for treatment for an unrelated injury but escaped custody that evening, kicking his way through a door at the hospital and fleeing into the night, still handcuffed.
Three days later, Rees attacked 49-year-old Michael Leiter with a tomahawk after a dispute between the pair on Corrimal Street.
CCTV footage of the incident shows Rees raising the weapon above his head and swinging it down hard towards Mr Liether, who was struck on the hand as he attempted to evade the blow, almost severing three fingers.
Mr Leiter tried to run away but Rees chased him down and twice planted the tomahawk in his back.
Emergency services later found Mr Leiter collapsed on a Smith Street footpath with 10cm wounds to his back and shoulder. Rees was arrested at a house in nearby Bank Street later that afternoon.
In court on Friday, Rees' lawyer, Scott Fraser, said his client had had a "horrible start to life" including witnessing severe domestic violence and had been diagnosed with a personality disorder and possible post-traumatic stress disorder.