The doorman who was lunged at with a kitchen knife by “dangerous” thug Gordon Wood today told of his relief that his attacker is off the streets.
Wood, 56, who previously went under the alias Gordon Modiak, was previously sentenced to 20 years in prison in Scotland after paying a man to carry out an acid attack that blinded his ex-wife Louise Duddy and permanently disfigured their nine-year-old son in 1991.
And after moving to Blackpool to start a new life, Wood has now been jailed again after he was caught on CCTV trying to stab doorman Daniel Ursoi at Ma Kelly’s Bar on Talbot Road.
Preston Crown Court heard Wood, of Keswick Road, Blackpool, had been stood outside the venue on March 16, smoking a cigarette.
Heavily intoxicated, he was asked to move away from the door by the “mild-mannered” door-staff around 10.30pm.
But the father-of-two took exception to the request and a comment that he may be “more comfortable” at one of the nearby gay venues.
He spat at the door staff and then left, the court heard.
But 90 minutes later, Wood returned in disguise.
He had changed his clothes and was wearing a hat, something the sentencing judge said he had done to “catch his victim unaware and reduce the risk of detention.”
In the CCTV footage he is seen to walk past the entrance of the bar before doubling back.
Dressed in a blue beanie hat, blue trousers and a black coat, he then pulled a large kitchen knife out and lunged at the doorman.
The court heard the victim had seen what was coming and narrowly managed to defend himself by blocking the blow with his arm.
Judge Graham Knowles said it was “good fortune” the victim was not seriously injured. He said he was in “no doubt he could have died” if he had been stabbed in the chest.
Mr Ursoi was unhurt in the revenge attack and escaped with just damage to his clothing, including a ripped sleeve.
His colleague and fellow doorman managed to disarm and restrain Wood, while police were called.
But Mr Ursoi, 39, from Burns Road, Fleetwood, today said he felt lucky to have escaped serious injury.
He told The Gazette: “I asked him to move along into the smoking area and he started shouting at me saying I was a ‘foreigner’ and then left.
“Then around two hours later I noticed there was this guy acting suspiciously and then I clocked it was him.
“He walked up to me shouted, ‘Do you remember me?’ then launched at me with the knife. I don’t know what was running through my mind at the time – it just happened so quickly.
“I remember thinking, ‘Oh God.’ I was so lucky the knife missed me .
“He then just tried to walk away so me and my mate jumped on him and held him down. While we doing that I could feel the knife against my leg.”
Wood appeared for sentencing having earlier been convicted of attempted grievous bodily harm with intent after a trial.
Sentencing him to life imprisonment, Judge Knowles said: “You are an extremely dangerous man, you present a serious risk of harm to members of the public. Had you succeeded to do grievous bodily harm to your victim by you driving the knife into his chest as you intended to do he may very well have died.
“It was a matter of good fortune and luck he was he was able to fend off your blows.
He added: “I have no doubt you will do premeditated grave violence when it serves you to do. I am sending you to prison to protect others.
“The judge who presided in the High Court in Edinburgh over the acid attack case (in 1991) said he had ‘never come across a more cowardly and wicked act’.”
Talking directly to Wood, he said: “You have no concept of how people see you, including the jury. That was evident with your defence – you said you pretended to stab the man so you would be arrested and get the attention you deserve for what you call the ‘miscarriage of justice’ that happened in Scotland.
“This was a premeditated revenge attack on what I can only described as a mild mannered man.” A pre-sentence report prepared by the Probation Service following the trial agreed Wood is “dangerous”.
Wood was jailed in 1991 for the attack on his ex-wife.
Ms Duddy met her future husband when she was just 16.
Eight years her senior, she reported Wood was violent and stopped her from seeing her family and friends.
She eventually left him, but a court order insisting he stay away from his former partner was ineffective and on February 13, 1991, her life was changed forever.
Woodhired hitman Kelvin Greenhalghse and paid him to throw acid in his wife’s face.
He is said to have watched from a car nearby.
Throughout yesterday’s 30 minute sentencing hearing Wood kept trying to shout out at the judge.
Prosecutors said he had previous convictions for dishonesty in the 1970s and 80s, plus convictions for theft and drink driving in 2007.
Judge Knowles said the offence of causing serious injury and permanent disfigurement in Scotland would be the equivalent of committing grievous bodily harm (wounding) with intent in the UK.
Wood will now serve a minimum term of five years and 124 days before he is eligible to apply for parole.
He was also handed a two year jail term for two separate charges of possessing a bladed article.
Those sentences will be served concurrently.
Mr Ursoi added: “I am really pleased with the sentence. He won’t be able to hurt anyone else for a long time.
“I was very lucky. He could have really hurt me.
“If he ever did this again his next victim may not be so lucky.”
Det Con Gary Scales, of Blackpool CID said: “This was a deliberate and nasty attack I’m happy he’s off the streets of Blackpool.”