A spurned thug brutally tried to kill his ex-lover while she was working in a supermarket.

Ben Jenkins was caught prowling the aisles of the Tesco store in Rutherglen, Lanarkshire looking for Louise McGarry last 9th July.

The 35 year-old then stormed into a staff area and pounced on terrified Louise who had been trying to hide from him.

Jenkins then repeatedly stabbed the 25 year-old and was only halted when the victim’s brave colleagues leapt on him.

Jenkins – who already had a string of offences involving ex-partners – today pled guilty to an attempted murder charge at the High Court in Glasgow.

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, Louise told colleague Angela McIlroy that Jenkins had been “constantly messaging” her.

Louise 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.

Miss Barron: “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.”

Louise – who worked in the bakery section – was told her ex was in the shop.

Miss Barron: “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.

Angela followed and said Louise did not want to speak to him. He insisted he only “wanted to say hello”.

Louise was soon discovered “hiding in a corridor”.

Miss Barron then explained: “As he entered, Jenkins immediately dropped his backpack and started attacking Louise McGarry with the knife.

“Angela McIlroy started shouting for another member of staff to come and assist.”

Jenkins also yanked up Louise’s top and stabbed her in the stomach. He further ripped out her hearing implant.

Miss Barron: “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.”

Crazed Jenkins was held by the Tesco workers until police arrived as other staff gave a blood-soaked Louise first aid.

Customers meantime were evacuated from the store.

Louise was rushed to hospital – she 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 former partners – not Louise.

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 lover.

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 Louise’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.”

By Grant McCabe

Renfrewshire News Court Reporter

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