‘This f***er’s not having me’: M&S manager describes escape from knife attacker who believed department store ‘funded Israel’

‘This f***er’s not having me’: M&S manager describes escape from knife attacker who believed department store ‘funded Israel’

A Marks and Spencer manager has described the moment she was stabbed by a man who believed the department store “funded Israel”.

Samantha Worthington survived being stabbed in the neck by Munawar Hussain on 2 December 2020 – the first day non-essential shops could open their doors after a Covid lockdown.

The mother-of-three recalled thinking “this f***er’s not having me” as she fled, bleeding, through the clothes section of the shop.

Manchester Crown Court heard that Mr Hussain started chasing her, and then stabbed a female customer.

Prosecutor Alex Leach QC said that by an “incredible stroke of luck”, his knife was broken after getting caught in Janet Dell’s handbag, and he was caught after trying to flee.

Mr Hussain is accused of attempting to murder Ms Worthington and Ms Dell at the Burnley branch of Marks and Spencer, but denies the charges.

Mr Hussain carried out the knife attack while carrying a note in his pocket, which read: “O Israel, you are inflicting atrocities on Palestinians and Marks Spencer helping you financially [sic].”

The jury was told that at around 9.15am on the day of the attack, Mr Hussain entered the shop, sanitised his hands and asked to speak to a manager.

In an interview played to the court, she said Mr Hussain “looked like a normal customer” when she was called over to see him by a colleague.

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

The manager said she instinctively clutched her neck after what “felt like a punch”, as a woman started screaming.

“I needed to get away,” she added. “I just thought ‘this f***er’s not having me, I’ve got three kids and he’s not getting me, he’s not taking me away from them.”

Ms Worthington said that the attacker was wearing a face mask but his “eyes just looked pure evil”.

“The intent were there, you could tell he wanted to kill me,” she added. “He was coming towards me again.”

The court heard that Ms Worthington fled through the clothing section towards the food hall, in the hope of getting through a secure door that could only be opened by staff key cards.

UK news in pictures Show all 50 1 /50 UK news in pictures UK news in pictures 1 February 2022 Lorries queue for the Port of Dover in Kent, as the Dover TAP is enforced due to the high volume of lorries waiting to cross the Channel PA UK news in pictures 31 January 2022 Nelson Beaumont-Laurencia applies finishing touches to a sculpture of a tiger, commissioned by Manchester Business Improvement District to celebrate the Chinese New Year, is unveiled in St Ann’s Square PA UK news in pictures 30 January 2022 A house on Overhill terrace in Gateshead, lost its roof on 29 January after strong winds from Storm Malik battered northern parts of the UK PA UK news in pictures 29 January 2022 A newly painted bicycle sign is seen on the middle of the road at Westminster Bridge, as the new Highway Code rules start today together with giving pedestrians priority at junctions Reuters UK news in pictures 28 January 2022 School children take part in a rally in support of British Sign Language becoming a recognised language in the UK, outside the Houses of Parliament, Westminster, as the British Sign Language Private Members’ Bill, introduced by Rosie Cooper MP, reaches its second reading in the House PA UK news in pictures 27 January 2022 A rare six-week-old southern white rhino calf called Zawadi, explores her paddock for the first time at Africa Alive! in Lowestoft PA UK news in pictures 26 January 2022 British Prime Minister Boris Johnson jogs with his dog Dilyn, in London REUTERS UK news in pictures 25 January 2022 A member of staff looks at Francis Bacon’s work ‘Second Version of Triptych 1944’ on display in the Francis Bacon: Man and Beast exhibition at the the Royal Academy of Arts in London PA UK news in pictures 24 January 2022 Rowers (front to back) Charlotte Irving, Kat Cordiner and Abby Johnston, on their way to shatter the world record for rowing across the Atlantic PA UK news in pictures 23 January 2022 A grey seal pup on the beach at Horsey Gap in Norfolk, as the pupping season draws to a close at one of the UK’s most important sites for the mammals PA UK news in pictures 22 January 2022 Participants prepare to take part in the Crisis icebreaker cold water challenge at Tooting Bec Lido in London EPA UK news in pictures 21 January 2022 Willesborough Windmill, a white smock mill built in 1869 is bathed in the morning sunshine as the moon sets behind in Ashford, Kent PA UK news in pictures 20 January 2022 A jet skier jumps the waves off the coast at Blyth in Northumberland PA UK news in pictures 19 January 2022 Britain’s Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, participate in a therapy session with individuals who have experienced the care system, during a visit to the Foundling Museum in London REUTERS UK news in pictures 18 January 2022 Surfers enter the sea as the sun rises over Tynemouth on the North East coast PA UK news in pictures 17 January 2022 Bonhams’ Danny McIlwraith holds a Nigerian polycrome carved wood mask during a photocall for the sale of the Jim Lennon Collection at Bonhams in Edinburgh PA UK news in pictures 16 January 2022 The moon rises above the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, Hampshire PA UK news in pictures 15 January 2022 Demonstrators outside Downing Street during a ‘Kill The Bill’ protest against The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in London PA UK news in pictures 14 January 2022 Ecologist Emma Smart (left) and retired GP Dr Diana Warner outside HMP Bronzefield, in Surrey, following their release from the prison where Emma undertook a 26-day hunger strike during her incarceration. Ms Smart was sentenced in November, along with other members of Insulate Britain, to serve four months for breaking a High Court injunction by taking part in a blockade at junction 25 of the M25 motorway during the morning rush hour on 8 October last year PA UK news in pictures 13 January 2022 A TV presenter holds a copy of a newspaper outside 10 Downing Streetafter the Prime Minister apologised for attending a gathering of colleagues in the Number Ten garden in May 2020, while the UK was in strict lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic Getty UK news in pictures 12 January 2022 Fitness guru Derrick Evans after receiving an MBE during an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle PA UK news in pictures 11 January 2022 A couple walk underneath an umbrella during wet weather on Westminster Bridge in central London PA UK news in pictures 10 January 2022 A jogger passes the Covid Memorial Wall in London AP UK news in pictures 9 January 2021 The sun rises over horses at Seaton Sluice in Northumberland PA UK news in pictures 8 January 2022 Riders compete during the Veterans Men’s race at the UK Cyclo-Cross National Championships 2022 in Ardingly, south of London AFP/Getty UK news in pictures 7 January 2022 A dog looks out of a car window at the wintry conditions in Killeshin, Co. Laois PA UK news in pictures 6 January 2022 People walk through frost and mist alongside a frozen lake during sunrise in Bushy Park, London REUTERS UK news in pictures 5 January 2022 A skier jumps on the slopes at Allenheads in the Pennines to the north of Weardale in Northumberland PA UK news in pictures 4 January 2022 Freshly-fallen snow covers houses in Corbridge, near Hexham in Northumberland PA UK news in pictures 3 January 2022 Dean Morrison, 13, receives his Covid-19 vaccine from student nurse Anthony McLaughlin during a vaccination clinic at the Glasgow Central Mosque PA UK news in pictures 2 January 2022 Konastantinos Tsimikas of Liverpool with Chelsea’s Mason Mount during the Premier League match at Stamfrod Bridge Liverpool FC/Getty UK news in pictures 1 January 2022 New Year’s Eve Lasers, drones and fireworks illuminate the sky in front of the Royal Naval College in Greenwich shortly after midnight in London EPA UK news in pictures 31 December 2021 Competitors in fancy dress run across the Pennine tops near Haworth, West Yorkshire, in the annual Auld Lang Syne Fell race which attracts hundreds of runners every year PA UK news in pictures 30 December 2021 Sunrise at Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland PA UK news in pictures 29 December 2021 The Very Revd Dr Robert Willis, Dean of Canterbury Cathedral, looks at Becket, a six month old red-billed chough as he visits Wildwood Wildlife Park in Kent on the anniversary of the murder of Thomas Becket PA UK news in pictures 28 December 2021 Troops of the Household Cavalry are seen reflected in a puddle during the changing of the Queen’s Life Guard, on Horse Guards Parade, in central London PA UK news in pictures 27 December 2021 A pedestrian walks past a winter sale sign outside a John Lewis store on Oxford street in London Getty UK news in pictures 26 December 2021 Riders take their bikes through the snow near Castleside, County Durham PA UK news in pictures 25 December 2021 Patrick Corkery wears a santa hat and beard as waves crash over him at Forty Foot near Dublin during a Christmas Day dip PA UK news in pictures 24 December 2021 People stand inside Kings Cross Station on Christmas Eve in London Reuters UK news in pictures 23 December 2021 Christmas shoppers fill the car park at Fosse Shopping Park in Leicester PA UK news in pictures 22 December 2021 The sun rises behind the stones as people gather for the winter solstice at Stonehenge. Getty UK news in pictures 21 December 2021 People take part in a winter solstice swim at Portobello Beach in Edinburgh to mark the solstice and to witness the dawn after the longest night of the year PA UK news in pictures 20 December 2021 An auction employee displays poultry to buyers and sellers attending the Christmas Poultry Sale at York Auction Centre in Murton PA UK news in pictures 19 December 2021 Joao Moutinho of Wolverhampton Wanderers looks on during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Chelsea at Molineux Getty Images UK news in pictures 18 December 2021 Freight lorries queuing at the port of Dover in Kent PA UK news in pictures 17 December 2021 Newly elected Liberal Democrat MP Helen Morgan, bursts ‘Boris’ bubble’ held by colleague Tim Farron, as she celebrates following her victory in the North Shropshire by-election PA UK news in pictures 16 December 2021 Brussels sprouts are harvested by workers as they prepare for the busy Christmas period near Boston in Lincolnshire PA UK news in pictures 15 December 2021 Lewis Hamilton is made a Knight Bachelor by the Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle PA UK news in pictures 14 December 2021 The Royal Liver Buildings surrounded by early morning fog in Liverpool PA

She said that customers and colleagues appeared to not realise what had happened as she ran past them, until she shouted that she had been stabbed.

Colleagues gave her first aid by the tills, holding tissues to her neck wound, before paramedics arrived.

The court heard that Ms Worthington needed surgery to her neck, and suffered a collapsed lung and nerve damage.

“If I’d fallen he would have killed me,” she said, breaking down in tears in the police interview. “I’m lucky to be here.”

The court heard that Mr Hussain then stabbed Ms Dell in the arm, and “tried to stab her in the back” after she slipped on her own blood and fell to the floor.

“In what you may think was an incredible stroke of luck, the knife came down into the strap of her handbag, preventing it from penetrating her back,” Mr Leach told the jury.

“As a result of the blow, the blade of the knife snapped from the handle and became trapped.

“Having been effectively disarmed, the defendant fled the store. He was chased by the store detective James Brayford, out into the street. Together with members of the public, he brought the defendant back to the outer doors, where he caused him to await the arrival of the police.”

Ms Dell survived the attack, where stab wounds to her arm caused a fracture and tendon damage.

The court heard that in a police interview, Mr Hussain said he targeted Marks and Spencer deliberately because he believed it “funded Israel in what he described as its persecution of Palestine”.

“He said that on his arrival at the store, he had sought out the manager. He said he meant to kill her and that he meant to kill Janet Dell,” Mr Leach said.

“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 court heard that Mr Hussain now says he did not intend to kill or seriously injure the women, and is innocent of attempted murder.

Jurors were told that the defendant has a “complicated history of mental health problems”, but was assessed as being both able to understand and to control his actions on the day of the attack.

Mr Hussain, of Murray Street in Burnley, denies attempted murder and the trial continues.

Desk Team

Desk Team