A man has been jailed after slashing the throat of a Royal Marine and coming a ‘millimetre away from murder’ outside a Barnstaple nightclub.
Wayne Tandy pulled an open Stanley knife out of his pocket during a 3am confrontation outside Fever in Barnstaple in June and lashed out towards the neck of victim Ben Turnbull.
The serving Royal Marine jerked backwards to avoid the blow but still suffered a cut on his neck which was very close to vital veins and arteries.
The two men were strangers but both had just left the club and were on either side of a metal barrier outside. Tandy was agitated and Mr Turnbull was telling him to calm down.
Tandy was in North Devon working as a carpet fitter and had kept the knife in his pocket despite returning to the hotel where he was staying to share a crate of beer with a workmate.
He then went to a pub and on to Fever and had been drinking for nine hours at the time of the attack. He fled the scene, checked out of his hotel, and went to sleep in his works van but was tracked by CCTV to an industrial estate.
CCTV outside the club captured the attack itself. Tandy claimed he was not the man in the footage but was clearly identified by a crucifix tattoo on his cheek.
Mr Turnbull received first aid at the scene and the wound was cleaned at hospital, but was not deep and did not need stitches or gluing.
Tandy, of Broadway, Wakefield, admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and was jailed for six and a half years with a 30 month extended licence by Judge David Evans at Exeter Crown Court.
He told him: "This was a millimetre away from murder. It was a matter of pure good fortune that he moved his head backwards and there was not a greater wound than in fact resulted.
"In my judgment, you do pose a significant risk of causing harm in the future by committing offences and you are a dangerous offender.
"The readiness with which you resorted to using a Stanley knife and the deliberation with which you did so, and the way you were willing to use it against the face or throat of the victim, confirm my conclusion."
Julian Kesner, prosecuting, said both Tandy and Royal Marine Ben Turnbull were in drink when they exchanged words on either side of a metal barrier outside Fever at 3 am on June 28 this year.
He played CCTV and said: "The footage shows Tandy going into his pocket and getting a knife out. He moves forward and slashes out at Mr Turnbull, making contact with his neck.
"The action was like a haymaker and Mr Turnbull managed to move his head back but was cut. He did not appreciate he had been cut straight away.
"Tandy left the scene and clearly appreciated the seriousness of what he had done because he went to his hotel room, packed his bags and drove a short distance with the intention of evading capture. The van was tracked by CCTV and he was arrested."
Nick Lewin, defending, said Tandy was working on a carpet laying contract and had the knife in his pocket for work, rather than to use as a weapon.
He said he had only struck one blow, was aiming more for the head than the neck, and had no intention of cutting the other man's throat.
One of his two young children died while he was in custody awaiting sentence and he was distraught at not being allowed out of jail to attend the funeral.