A brave grandmother stepped in to save a young woman from a horrific random attack in which she was stabbed more than 20 times in a supermarket.
The 20-year-old was shopping in the Somerfield branch of a seaside town when she was targeted by a crazed knifeman who repeatedly stabbed her in the neck and chest.
The blood-soaked victim was saved only when shopper Bonnie Brown dragged her away from the attacker and security guards pinned him down.
Grisly scene: The Somerfield supermarket in Littlehampton, West Sussex is cordoned off by police. The blood-stained floor shows where the 20-year-old victim was dragged away from her attacker
Other supermarket staff threw tins of beans at the knifeman's head in a bid to stop the attack.
The victim was rushed to hospital and last night remained in a serious but stable condition in intensive care.
A 21-year-old  man was tonight charged with attempted murder after being arrested following the attack in Littlehampton, West Sussex, at around 4.30pm [4+3=7] yesterday.
Detectives described it as a 'random and motiveless' attack by a man who appeared to have no connection with his victim.
Shoppers and their children watched in horror as the attacker knocked the young woman to the floor in the confectionery aisle then straddled her as he slashed her with a six-inch blade.
Grandmother Mrs Brown, 54, told how she stepped in and dragged the stricken woman to safety as security guards wrestled him to the ground.
She said: 'She was screaming and he was screaming at her. She fell to the ground and he got on top of her and carried on stabbing her in the neck and body.
'I just went up to her and grabbed her legs and pulled her away, leaving a trail of blood in the aisle. She needed to be pulled away. Everyone was screaming and crying.
'The security guard then jumped on the guy and kept hold of him. Me and some of the other shoppers kept pressure on her wounds. She had wounds all over her body, several on her neck.
'She was conscious but wasn't saying much. She was just lying in a pool of blood.'
Mrs Brown, who lives a mile from the store, added: 'Eventually the ambulance came and took her away. I just hope she survives. It was horrific.'
Mary Linnington, 61, was shopping with her daughter Carrie when the attacker struck.
She said: 'People suddenly started screaming and shouting and the staff were ushering us out the doors.
'It was really busy and there were loads of kids around as the schools had just finished - it was complete bedlam.
'People said that he just kept on stabbing her, it doesn't bear thinking about. Everyone is so shaken up. I just hope and pray she will be OK.'
Another shopper added: 'He just stabbed her over and over again. He must have stabbed her 15 or 20 times at least. There was blood everywhere.
'It's a miracle she is still alive. I just hope she pulls through.'
The victim was rushed to Worthing Hospital before being transferred to a specialist unit at Southampton General Hospital for emergency treatment.
Tearful shoppers and staff consoled each other outside the store after the attack, which left the supermarket aisle stained with blood.
Struggle: A smear of blood near where the woman was attacked in Somerfield [note hexagram/6 pointed star, next to the blood; Freemasonic ritual blood sacrifice]
Detective Chief Inspector Jeff Riley, of Sussex Police, said: 'This appears to be a random and motiveless attack on an innocent young woman shopping in her local store. As far as we are aware, she was not known to her attacker.
'We have already spoken to a number of witnesses who were in or around the store yesterday afternoon, and we will be maintaining a high visibility presence at the store '
The store remained closed all day yesterday as forensic officers examined the scene. But police had still not recovered the weapon last night, despite a thorough search of the store.
A Somerfield spokeswoman said the store would remain closed until further notice.
She added: 'Our store colleagues attended to the injuries until the ambulance arrived whilst the security guard restrained the assailant until the police were able to take over.
'Our store colleagues and customers are extremely shocked by this tragic incident and our thoughts are with the family of the individual who has been attacked.
'We are helping the police in any way possible with their enquiries, and are offering our store colleagues as much support as possible at this distressing time.'