M&S horror attack as woman stabbed in neck by knife-wielding 'terrorist' in busy UK shop

Samantha Worthington, manager of the Burnley M&S store, survived being brutally stabbed in the neck by Munawar Hussain on December 2, 2020.

On the first day non-essential shops could open their doors after a Covid lockdown, Mr Hussain chased the mother of three through the store in Burnley, Lancashire and stabbed her in the neck.

Manchester Crown Court heard that he then stabbed another customer, Janet Dell, in the arm before the blade snapped as it got stuck in her handbag strap. Which Prosecutor Alex Leach QC said was an “incredible stroke of luck”.

Hussain denied attempted murder and pleaded not guilty to two alternative counts of wounding with intent.

Ms Worthington recalled thinking “this f***er’s not having me” as she fled through the clothes section of the shop.

Following his arrest, a note, written in Urdu, was discovered on him which read: “O Israel, you are inflicting atrocities on Palestinians and Marks Spencer helping you financially.”

The jury in Manchester was told that at around 9:15 am on the day of the attack, Mr Hussain entered the shop and asked to speak to a manager.

Ms Worthington recalled that Mr Hussain “looked like a normal customer.”

She continued: “He was stood by the scarves – I went ‘alright?’ he said ‘alright.’ He mumbled something about a jacket … the next thing I knew he stabbed me.”

Ms Worthington said that the attacker was wearing a face mask but his “eyes just looked pure evil and the intent were there, you could tell he wanted to kill me.”

Mr Hussain attempted to flee but was detained outside by a store security guard and members of the public before police arrived at the scene.

Mr Leach, the prosecutor, said it became apparent to police officers he had a history of mental health problems but doctors later deemed him fit to answer questions the following March.

He continued: “He said that had his knife not broken he would have gone on to kill others. He said that he expected that the police might kill him and he intended to be a martyr.”

The prosecution say it was “overwhelmingly clear” from the evidence that Mr Hussain had intentions to kill.

Judge Nicholas Dean QC, the Honorary Recorder of Manchester said: “The prosecution say that Mr Hussain had a terrorist motive for his actions.”

Ms Worthington has suffered a collapsed lung and nerve damage from the attack and Ms Dell’s stab wounds caused a fracture and tendon damage.

The trial continues.

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