A young man whose hand was nearly severed at the wrist in a horrific machete attack at Warrawong last year has told a court the limb is now no more than a "paperweight" at the end of his arm.
Dylan Sault had considered himself friends with Thomas Mook and a teenage boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, before the pair attacked him on the evening of March 12, 2019 after a falling out over the distribution of drugs.
Documents tendered to Wollongong District Court said Mook and the teen had been with Mr Sault at the Illawong Gardens public housing complex when the trio began to argue about Mr Sault not sharing his drugs the previous day.
Mr Sault left the complex but returned an hour later when the teen rang him and said he had drugs for them.
However, the teen ambushed Mr Sault as he approached the building's stairwell, stepping out in front of him while holding the machete above his head.
Mr Sault raised his left forearm in a bid to protect his face from the blade and was hit in the arm. The force of the blow almost severed his hand at the wrist, leaving it hanging by a tendon.
The teen then took a second swing at Mr Sault when he fell to the ground, hitting him in the left leg and leaving a gaping wound.
Meanwhile, Mook approached Mr Sault with a blow torch and burned him behind the left ear.
Mook and the teen then fled the scene, leaving Mr Sault writhing in pain. He walked around the complex screaming "call an ambulance, I'm going to die" before collapsing outside one of the units.
The occupant contacted emergency services and the victim was taken to Wollongong Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery to reattach his hand. He was later transferred to Sydney for further specialist treatment.
The court heard the victim's left hand has lost all function and his fingers are now fused together into a closed position.
On Tuesday, Mr Sault revealed he lives with excruciating pain every day as a result of the wound and sufferes from anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and nightmares.
"You're hand is like a paperweight or a dead weight is it?" prosecutor Natalie Olender asked Mr Sault.
"Yes," he replied, saying he had considered having the hand amputated.
Meanwhile, teen was arrested the day after the attack and Mook two weeks later.
Both were originally charged with attempted murder but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
The court heard the teen had an extensive and violent criminal history and had been charged five times for offences committed in custody.
He has since been transferred to an adult prison and will require "intensive intervention, monitoring and supervision" upon his eventual release, said his lawyer, Cate Doosey.
Meanwhile, Mook's lawyer, Scott Fraser, told the court his client had a limited criminal record.
"He's not a person who's been before the courts for matters of violence before this," Mr Fraser said.
"He doesn't present as an imminent danger to the community despite the matter before the court."
Both lawyers urged Judge Andrew Haesler to extend leniency to the two men on account of their youth and deprived backgrounds.
However Ms Olender noted the teen in particular had shown no remorse for his actions and said had Mr Sault not defended himself by putting his hand above his head, his injuries would have been more catastrophic.
Mook and the teen remain bail refused and will face sentencing on July 22.