A Highland League footballer carried out a horrific murder bid on his ex-lover after refusing to accept their break-up.
Richard Finnis pounced on the woman at her flat in Inverness in February this year.
She had just come out the shower when she spotted Finnis’s shadow through the curtains of her patio door.
The 31 year-old repeatedly stabbed the terrified mum with a two-pronged cheese knife.
The blood-soaked victim eventually managed to escape and frantically banged on neighbours’ doors for help.
Finnis meantime fled before being found hiding in woodland days later after a large scale manhunt.
A judge heard how the traumatised woman has been left with life changing injuries.
Finnis now faces a lengthy jail-term after he admitted an attempted murder charge at the High Court in Glasgow.
The hearing was told the couple were together for six years before the woman ended the relationship days before Christmas last year.
Advocate depute Eoghainn MacLean said: “He struggled to get over the separation.
“He inundated her with phone calls and social media messages in relation to the break-up.”
Mr MacLean added it was clear Finnis “was not coping” months later.
On February 15 – the night before the attack – the ex-partner met a man during an evening out in Inverness.
She stayed with him until the early hours before returning home in the morning.
Hours later, Finnis – who played for Highland side Strathspey Thistle – was then spotted prowling near her flat.
Around 11.30am, the woman woke up and found she had a message from her ex.
Mr MacLean said: “It revealed that he had known where she had been with the person, who she met the night before.”
Finnis was soon clocked by neighbours approaching the flat armed with a nine-inch cheese knife.
The woman meantime was on the phone to Finnis’s mum, initially unaware of him.
Mr MacLean said: “She saw his shadow through the curtains of the patio door and then heard it being slid open as he came in.
“She shouted at him to leave. With the knife in his right hand, Finnis stated: ‘You’ve driven me to this. I am going to kill you’.”
The terrified woman tried to run, but he caught up and stabbed her repeatedly in the neck.
Mr MacLean told the court how the woman was “fighting for her life”.
She bravely tried to push him off, but Finnis then stabbed her on the body.
The advocate depute added: “She was bleeding profusely, but managed to get up to the front door.
“She ran onto the street screaming for help and banging on neighbours’ doors.”
Finnis also left the flat and claimed he was going to kill himself.
Finnis’s victim eventually collapsed on the street as people raced to her aid.
The court heard she suffered a string of significant injuries needing hours of surgery.
Mr MacLean said: “She required blood transfusions. The surgery and treatment saved her life.”
She was only able to leave hospital nearly two weeks later.
The hearing was told the ordeal has “changed her life”.
She is now dependant on her parents and has “recurring memories” of the attack.
Mr MacLean added: “She is nervous about meeting anyone new and feels unable to have another relationship with a man.
“As a result of her injuries, she may be unable to return to work and care for her son, as she did before.
“It is her conviction to do so that keeps her going.”
Finnis was held on February 24 after an initial missing person’s inquiry.
A massive police search – involving sniffer dogs as well as a coastguard helicopter – found him living rough in woods in Inverness.
Finnis was remanded in custody pending sentencing next month.
Judge Lord Mulholland told him: “Be under no illusion, this was a horrific attack on a young woman.
“The injuries she suffered are catastrophic and you will pay a price for this.”