IT was about 10.20pm on June 13 last year when four men jumped out of a car in Allowah Street, Waratah West, walked up to a house, kicked down the front door and opened fire.
But what the four men - who detectives say were Terry Egan, David Alan Jones, Matthew Primmer and Matthew John Moore - hadn't contemplated was that those inside, drug dealer Brandon Ryan Jennings and his brother-in-law Christopher Damien Stokes, knew they were coming.
When Mr Moore allegedly fired a .22 rifle through the open doorway, the bullet passing through the laundry and lodging in the back door, Mr Stokes fired back with a 12 gauge double barrel shotgun, striking Mr Egan in the shoulder and right hand.
The four intruders then fled, dropping the .22 rifle in the front yard of the home and jumped back into the car. But Mr Stokes gave chase, firing another blast from the shotgun and smashing the back window of their Holden Commodore with a steel pole. Four minutes later, Mr Egan presented at the emergency department of the Calvary Mater Hospital with a gunshot wound to his right hand.
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Doctors later determined that his right thumb would need to be amputated and they also removed shrapnel from his hand and right shoulder.
Stokes, 33, who is also known as Christopher Van Gestel, appeared in Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday via audio visual link from Long Bay Correctional Centre where he pleaded guilty to recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm in company and possessing a loaded firearm and endangering life over the shooting.
He will next appear in Newcastle District Court next week to get a sentence date.
After the shooting, Stokes gave both the shotgun and the rifle to Jennings and fled north to Townsville with his partner.
But he kept in touch with Jennings and detectives were listening in as they discussed what happened.
"I took his hand off.... f---ing gronk," Stokes said at one point, according to an agreed statement of facts.
Stokes was arrested at Sydney airport in July after stepping off a flight from Townsville. He had travelled under a fake name.
While Jennings was arrested at Thornton after police found cannabis and cash at his home in Raymond Terrace. Jennings has pleaded guilty to possessing a loaded firearm and endangering life and other firearm and drug offences and will be sentenced in Newcastle District Court in July.
Mr Egan, Mr Primmer, Mr Jones and Mr Moore have all been charged over the bungled home invasion. The four men remain behind bars and have not entered pleas.