The sentencing of a man convicted of shooting another man in the face with a sawn-off shotgun at Hamilton has been unexpectedly delayed so he can get a psychiatric assessment.
Newcastle District Court Judge Roy Ellis was due to sentence Joshua Rae on Monday over the shooting inside the Gordon Avenue unit on the night of December 18, 2017 - which caused serious injuries that the victim survived.
But Rae's lawyer told Judge Ellis in court that his client sought an adjournment.
Judge Ellis said Rae had at least two and a half months to organise a psychiatric assessment and questioned why the 31-year-old had not told the court before the day he was scheduled to be sentenced.
He indicated Rae was in line for a custodial sentence.
"At the end of the day, for your client, it's just a matter of how long he stays in custody," Judge Ellis said in court.
Rae pleaded guilty in January to causing grievous bodily harm, possessing a shortened firearm without authority and being involved in a police pursuit.
He also pleaded guilty to back-up charges of possessing ammunition and drugs.
According to a statement of facts tendered to the court, Rae entered a the Hamilton unit with two other men and shot the victim in the face.
The facts said Rae fired at the man after the victim slashed one of the intruders on the arm with an ornamental samurai sword.
"As he turned I could see half his face was hanging off and he was stumbling," Rae told an associate two days after the shooting, according to the facts.
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Rae fled the scene and was arrested at hotel at South West Rocks one month later.
His arrest came hours after he was involved in a 30km police pursuit from Kempsey, which officers were forced to terminate.
Rae was recorded driving as fast as 200km/h during the chase.
Police found a sawn-off rifle with a mounted laser scope, ammunition, a blow torch, a balaclava, three grams of methylamphetamine and five Fentinyl patches in the vehicle when they arrested him.
Rae did not appear in the courtroom when his sentencing was discussed on Monday.
Judge Ellis rescheduled the matter to July 12, following the psychiatric assessment.
Rae was remanded in custody until that date.