HE has been told he is definitely going to jail, but the man who killed two workmates in a crash at Salamander Bay in April, 2018, won't be sentenced for more than six months due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Adam Anthony Bortic, now 33, of Queensland, is among one of the first major cases in NSW to be delayed under the NSW District Court's new guidelines around dealing with defendants who are not already in custody.
The District Court, which has already postponed all jury trials, announced that from Wednesday they would temporarily suspend all new judge-alone trials, sentence hearings, local court appeals, arraignments and directions hearings for matters where the defendant remains in the community.
Bortic was under the influence of alcohol and had cannabis in his system when he lost control of a car on Soldiers Point Road after midnight on April 13, 2018, and slammed into a tree, killing his workmates Queensland man Jamie Ward, 34, and 29-year-old Estonian national Lauri Juerman.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated dangerous driving occasioning death, which carries a maximum of 14 years in jail, in April, 2019, while three other charges, including driving with an illicit drug in his blood, will serve as back-ups and related offences.
Bortic was initially expected to be sentenced in December, 2019, but that date was vacated and the matter was adjourned for sentence to last Friday.
However, foreshadowing the District Court's stricter guidelines, and regardless of an administrative matter causing some delay, Judge Roy Ellis said he was already planning to put off handing down jail sentences to those on bail during the current COVID-19 crisis.
The matter was mentioned again on Tuesday and adjourned until October 7, some six months away and 18 months after Bortic pleaded guilty in the local court.
"There is no way I can see your client not serving a term of imprisonment," Judge Ellis said. "He's better off not to be sentenced now. And when I do deal with it later in the year I will take into account the fact that he's had this hanging over his head."