A 63-YEAR-OLD woman is in a critical condition in hospital after she was attacked by a robber at the shop where she works.

The woman suffered serious head injuries in the “appalling and senseless” attack, which is being treated as attempted murder, in Catrine, East Ayrshire.

The suspect came into the Catrine Convenience Store through a rear door and threatened the woman with a knife and a heavy blunt weapon at around 2.35pm on Sunday.

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She gave him money, believed to be about a four-figure sum – but he then seriously assaulted her with the blunt weapon before leaving the shop through the back exit.

A member of the public raised the alarm after he came in and found the woman lying injured in the shop.

She was taken by ambulance to Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock then transferred to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, where she is being treated for serious head injuries. Hospital staff describe her condition as critical.

Police are treating the incident as attempted murder and appealed for information about the attack at the shop in St Germain Street.

Detective Chief Inspector Martin Fergus 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 has no conscience and must be caught.”