A holiday-maker has told how he feared he was going to die after being stabbed in a row about a dog.
Gavin Watson, a 30-year-old builder from Derby, was stabbed three times in the spleen, gut and chest by farmer Michael Turford who was wielding a four inch knife.
He only realised what had happened when his body went into shock and blood started “pouring” out of him.
Turford, of Back Lane, High Hawsker, was jailed for seven years this week for the attack on the dad of two who had been staying at York House Campsite in Hawsker with wife Kelly and children children, Madelaine, now 11, and Harry, now seven.
Doctors told Mr Watson he was lucky he didn’t die as the stab wounds were so close to his vital organs.
Recalling the moments a family day out turned to horror, he told the Gazette he asked to speak to Turford outside the Hare and Hounds pub in Hawsker after hearing he had thrown his pet poodle against a wall.
He said: “I walked through one door and then as I walked through the other door I felt what I thought was a punch. I felt it in my back and thought that he had hit me. As soon as I realised he stabbed me, he was coming at me with a knife again.”
Turford fled the scene while Mr Watson staggered back inside to get help.
He added: “I ran back into the pub. A bloke who works at the campsite then put me in his car and was dabbing me with towels and took me back to the campsite. An ambulance was called to the campsite and everyone was just packing towels around me. I stayed in the car because I was getting weak by then and was losing a fair bit of blood.”
Fortunately My Watson recovered from the attack and Turford was arrested the following day.
After a trial at York Crown Court, Turford was cleared of attempted murder but found guilty of GBH and possessing a knife.
During the hearing the court heard the Watson family had gone into Whitby for the day and left Lola the dog in their tent. When they returned the dog was missing and they started a frantic search for her.
They were told the dog had been into the site’s clubhouse bar, Turford had picked it up by the scruff of the neck and thrown it out of the bar as it yelped.
Enraged by this, and after the three year-old pet had been re-united with the family, Mr Watson drove to pub where Turford was having a drink. After a heated exchange both men went outside and the incident took place at around 10pm on Sunday April 20 last year.
Defence barrister Peter Makepeace claimed Turford acted in self-defence as Mr Watson made the first move by punching and pinning him to the ground.
But a jury agreed with the prosecution that he deliberately opened the blade and that he made the first move in a premeditated act intended to do serious harm.
The court heard Turford had been in an aggressive mood that day and that he had already come to blows with another man earlier.
Mr Watson added: “He tried to say it was self defence. There was no self defence. He had drank too much beer and had been out all day. I suppose I feel justice has been done. I don’t think he has remorse about what he did. He was laughing in court.
“It’s all a bit of a blur now but I still can’t believe what happened. I think I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Detective Sergeant Ash Khan, of North Yorkshire Police’s Major Crime Unit, said he was satisfied with the outcome of the case which should serve as a warning of the dangers of carrying knives.
He added: “Hopefully Michael Turford will use his time in prison to reflect on his actions. I hope that the sentence passed in this case acts as a deterrent to others who carry knives.”