A KNIFEMAN was jailed for five years yesterday for a stabbing outside a town centre pub after being told by a judge: “It could have been fatal.”

Gareth Wood’s victim Benjamin Laing suffered a muscle- deep cut to his arm, as well as wounds to his elbow and back, in the attack last October.

Wood, 28, was said to have been intent on revenge after being “humiliated” by door supervisors and other drinkers at Trader Jacks, in Stockton.

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Teesside Crown Court heard that he had been ejected after an altercation, and once outside ran at and punched Mr Laing’s friend, Jack Ferrell.

Wood gestured that he would return in five minutes before being restrained and removed from the scene by door staff and a former bouncer.

Returning with a knife, he saw those involved in the earlier fracas and attacked Mr Laing – who was out with others celebrating his 30th birthday.

Wood, of Wembley Way, Stockton, admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and assault causing actual bodily harm.

He denied possessing an offensive weapon, claiming the injuries had been caused by a piece of glass he picked up, but was convicted by a jury.

Andrew Teate, mitigating, told the court: “The injury, happily for the victim, and perhaps fortunately for the defendant, was not serious.

“He explains deep regret and sorrow and talks of remorse.

He is aware that the victim would undoubtedly have suffered as a result of the injuries.”

Judge Tony Briggs told Wood: “It doesn’t need me to underline the seriousness of offending when people arm themselves with knives and use them.

“You had been put out of the premises and were not happy about that, and threatened you were going to stab or slash whoever was responsible.

“It was thought to be the drunken maunderings of someone well under the influence of drink. Unhappily, that turned out not to be the case.”