A female sales assistant has been left in a critical condition following a shocking incident of in-store violence.

A 63-year-old member of staff from the Catrine Convenience Store in Ayrshire was seriously assaulted by an armed robber on Sunday 5 November.  

The man threatened the assistant with a knife and another heavy blunt weapon.

However, despite handing over what is believed to have been a four-figure sum of cash, he still launched a brutal attack on her before escaping through the rear of the store.

The attack, which police are treating as attempted murder, highlighted the urgent need for change in the way in which in-store violence was dealt with, the Scottish Grocers Federation (SGF) said.

The SGF is currently working with MSP Daniel Johnson in the hope of bringing forward new legislation to give shop workers additional legal protection from assault and abuse.

The initial proposals for the new bill will go to public consultation within the next few weeks.

SGF chief executive Pete Cheema said: “We know how vulnerable shop staff can be and this shocking incident drives home how important it is to change the way we deal with in-store violence.

”The new proposals will not cover every kind of in-store incident but if taken forward they will ensure that retail crime moves up the agenda, is taken more seriously and that more effective deterrents are put in place,” he added.