A ROBBER has left a shop worker in a critical condition after he battered her once she handed over money.

The 63-year-old woman was working within the Catrine Convenience Store in St Germain Street, Catrine on Sunday at around 2.35pm when she was attacked.

Police say a man entered the shop through a rear entrance, and threatened her with a knife and another heavy blunt weapon.

The shop worker gave the knife thug a sum of cash, believed to be around four figures, however, he then went on to seriously assault her and then left the shop via the rear exit.

A member of the public entered the store and then found the woman lying injured.

He raised the alarm and emergency services were called to the scene.

The injured woman was taken by ambulance to Crosshouse Hospital then transferred to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital where she is being treated for serious head injuries.

Hospital staff describe her condition as critical.

Cops are now treating the attack as attempted murder and they are trying to find the man responsible.

He is described as white, 5ft 10 inches in height and of slim build with short dark hair.

He was wearing a dark-coloured Lonsdale tracksuit hooded top with white piping down each arm, a pink scarf covering his face, dark coloured baseball cap and black gloves.

Detective Chief Inspector Martin Fergus of the Major Investigation Team (West) said: “This is an appalling and senseless crime on this defenceless woman. She had handed him over a large sum of money, so there was absolutely no need for him to attack her in the violent and sickening way he did. He obviously has no conscience and must be caught.

“Sunday afternoon at the time of the incident, the local area would have been busy and I’m sure that someone would have seen this man with his distinctive pink scarf wrapped round him face.

“Today officers are continuing their extensive enquiries, including carrying out enquiries in the local area and studying CCTV footage to gather more information. We are urging anyone with information that may assist this investigation to come forward as a matter of urgency.

“Anyone with information should contact the Major Investigation Team (West) through 101. Alternatively CRIMESTOPPERS can be contacted on 0800 555 111, where anonymity can be maintained.”