A man tried to kill his former partner while she was working in a supermarket.
Ben Jenkins was caught prowling the aisles of the Tesco store in Rutherglen, Lanarkshire looking for the woman last July 9.
The 35-year-old then stormed into a staff area and pounced on his terrified victim who had been trying to hide from him.
Jenkins then repeatedly stabbed the woman and was only halted when the victim’s brave colleagues leapt on him.
Jenkins – who already had a string of offences involving ex-partners – pled guilty to an attempted murder charge at the High Court in Glasgow on Thursday.
He will be sentenced next month.
Prosecutor Margaret Barron told how the pair began dating February 2022, but split in late June of that year.
On the day of the attack, the woman had told her colleague Angela McIlroy that Jenkins had been “constantly messaging” her.
The woman had warned him to “back off” or she was calling the police.
Around 1pm, Jenkins, of Johnstone, Renfrewshire, was then captured on CCTV entering the Tesco.
Ms Barron said: “He walked towards the back of the store before walking up and down aisles.
“He did not pick up a basket or appear to be shopping.”
His victim – who worked in the bakery section – was told her ex was in the shop.
Ms Barron said: “She appeared to be frightened when she returned and spoke with Angela McIlroy.”
Minutes later, Jenkins barged into the staff area of the bakery department clutching a multi-tool knife.
Ms McIllroy followed and said the woman did not want to speak to him. He insisted he only “wanted to say hello”.
Jenkins’ victim was soon discovered “hiding in a corridor”.
Ms Barron then explained: “As he entered, Jenkins immediately dropped his backpack and started attacking [the woman] with the knife.
“Angela McIlroy started shouting for another member of staff to come and assist.”
Jenkins also yanked up the woman’s top and stabbed her in the stomach. He further ripped out her hearing implant.
Ms Barron said: “Angela McIlroy jumped on Jenkins and attempted to restrain him.
“Scott McNally – another employee – assisted. He removed the knife and threw it to the side.”
Jenkins was held by the Tesco workers until police arrived as other staff gave his blood-soaked victim first aid.
Customers were evacuated from the store in the meantime.
The woman was rushed to hospital having suffered wounds to her neck, stomach and arm.
Describing the impact of the ordeal, the advocate depute said: “She may have died had she not received medical attention and treatment. The wounds will result in scarring.
“The assault has resulted in her suffering from PTSD, anxiety and depression.
“She is afraid to go out and has not been able to work since.”
Jenkins already had previous domestic-related convictions involving other former partners.
In 2012, he was admonished for an assault and, in 2016, he was put on a community payback order for hounding an ex online.
Later that year, Jenkins got the same sentence for stalking a former partner.
In 2020, he was fined and hit with a restraining order for attacking a woman.
Lord Mulholland remanded Jenkins – who also has impaired hearing – and deferred sentencing until April 27 in Dundee.
The judge praised the actions of the woman’s workmates during the terrifying incident.
He told Jenkins: “I give public commendation to Angela McIlroy and Scott McNally, who intervened and restrained you from inflicting further injuries on your victim.
“You are fortunate that you are not facing a charge of murder.”
Jenkins – via a sign language interpreter – stated from the dock: “I know, I know…I feel bad.”
The judge went on: “The actions of her colleagues prevented you facing murder.
“You can expect a lengthy sentence of imprisonment.”
STV News is now on WhatsApp
Get all the latest news from around the countryFollow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp
Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country