Acid attack thug back in jail for knife assault

Gordon Modiak now. Picture: contributed
Gordon Modiak now. Picture: contributed
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A MAN who left his ex-wife blinded after paying an accomplice to throw acid in her face has been jailed for life after trying to stab a nightclub doorman.

Gordon Modiak – who had changed his surname to Wood – was jailed for 20 years over the sickening acid attack on tragic Louise Duddy in 1991.

Gordon Modiak during his trial in 1991. Picture: TSPL

Gordon Modiak during his trial in 1991. Picture: TSPL

But, after moving to Blackpool to start a new life, the 56-year-old is now back behind bars after being caught on CCTV trying to stab a bouncer in the popular seaside resort. The dad-of-two flew into a rage over a remark that he’d be “more comfortable” in a gay bar.

The attack comes 22 years after he masterminded a crime which shocked Scotland. After a bitter split from his wife, he paid a hired thug to throw sulphuric accident in her face - while he calmly watched from a getaway car parked in a quiet Slateford street. Ms Duddy, now 48, was blinded by the attack.

Bizarrely, in his trial at Preston Crown Court, Modiak claimed he had merely pretended to stab the bouncer in order to draw attention to his continuing grievance over his conviction for the acid attack.

The court heard how his latest crime followed a similar pre-planned and disturbing pattern.

Louise Duddy. Picture: contributed

Louise Duddy. Picture: contributed

Modiak was drunk and smoking outside a bar called Ma ­Kellys on March 16 this year when he was asked to move away by door staff.

After spitting at the ­bouncers, he changed his clothes and put on a hat, returning in disguise an hour-and-a-half later with a large knife hidden from view. In CCTV footage, Modiak is seen walking past the entrance of the bar – sizing up his intended victim – before doubling back.

He then pulls out the blade and lunges at bouncer Daniel Ursoi, 39. Speaking after yesterday’s sentencing, Mr Ursoi said: “He walked up to me and shouted, ‘Do you remember me?’ then launched at me with the knife. I remember thinking, ‘Oh God’. I was so lucky the knife missed me and just caught my sleeve.”

Mr Ursoi’s fellow doormen held on to the the thug until police arrived.

Sentencing Modiak to life in prison yesterday, Judge Graham Knowles QC said Modiak could easily have killed Mr Ursoi. “You are an extremely dangerous man, you present a serious risk of harm to members of the public,” he said.

Talking directly to Wood, he added: “You have no concept of how people see you including the jury.

“That was evident with you 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.”

He was convicted of attempted grievous bodily harm with intent and possession of a bladed article. He was ordered to serve a minimum of five years and 124 days before being eligible for parole.

A history of violence

LOUISE DUDDY was just 16 when she met Gordon Modiak, falling pregnant only a year later.

He was eight years older and with money to burn thanks to his criminal ­activities. The couple married, but the relationship was brutally violent.

Modiak was obsessional, possessive and a bully. He kept her away from friends and stopped her seeing her family. Louise eventually took the brave step of leaving him, but even a court order insisting he stay away from his former partner was ineffective. Modiak began plotting the attack on his ex-wife three months after their divorce. His reign of terror came to a climax on ­February 13, 1991.

Modiak had paid a man £3000 to throw a pint of sulphuric acid in his former wife’s face – while he watched from the vantage point of a getaway car.

The hired hitman, Kelvin Greenhalghse, hit the then 26-year-old full in the face as she ushered her two children into a car in Hutchison Place, Slateford, during a shopping trip. The concentrated acid burned the enamel off her teeth and scarred her legs where it dripped through her clothes. Her sons, Deane, then eight, and Ryan, one, were also injured by the acid.

Modiak – who tried and failed to appeal against a 20-year jail sentence – spent 14 years in prison.

Greenhalghse, 32 at the time of the trial and from Armadale, West Lothian, was also jailed for 20 years. Louise was left blind and a prisoner in her own home.

‘I’m no angel, but i’m certainly not an animal’

GORDON Modiak gave a whining interview to the News after being released in 2005 from his 20-year sentence for the acid attack.

He said: “I’m out of prison now, but I’m still trapped. I’m made out as this monster, I’ve been portrayed as a nasty person – it’s not true.”

Speaking in his mother’s home in Bonnington Road, Modiak added: “I know I done wrong, it’s a terrible thing that I’ve done. But I’m being made to look like I was some kind of monster. I’m no angel, but I’m certainly not an animal. We knew acid burns, but we put our fingers in the stuff, it went warm for a second then cold. I thought she would end up with a red mark, it would go away within a month or two. I didn’t mean to blind her.”

He claimed he had driven himself into a moment of madness by a belief that Louise had been having affairs.

Modiak added: “Louise tries to say she was the perfect wife and it was total abuse from me. The worst thing I ever did was give her a black eye.”