Richard Finnis jailed for 'brutal' attack on ex-partner
A man has been jailed for nine years and three months after trying to stab his former partner to death.
Richard Finnis attacked Helen Gallacher, 30, at her flat in Inverness in February.
Ms Gallacher had just come out the shower when she spotted Finnis lurking at her patio doors before he launched the attack.
Finnis stabbed her with a two-pronged cheese knife in what a judge said was a "vicious and brutal" assault.
Ms Gallacher eventually managed to escape despite being covered in blood, and banged on neighbours' doors for help.
Finnis, who played for Highland Football League side Strathspey Thistle, fled before being found days later in woodland near Inverness after a large-scale manhunt.
He was jailed at the High Court in Glasgow. He had earlier admitted to carrying out the attack.
'Lucky to survive'
Sentencing Finnis, judge Lord Mulholland paid tribute to Ms Gallacher's courage
He said: "This was no spur of the moment act - you armed yourself with a fearsome weapon.
"It was your intention to do her serious harm. Your assault on a defenceless woman was cowardly in the extreme.
"She did nothing to merit what you did to her. She was lucky to survive.
"It is a testament to her courage and fortitude that this brave woman will not let what you did to her defeat her."
Police Scotland said Finnis, of Inverness, had "controlled, stalked and ultimately brutally attacked" his former partner.
Det Insp Eddie Ross said: "She was left with serious, life-changing injuries and the impact of what happened to her that day cannot be underestimated.
"Hopefully this conviction and the judge's comments will provide a degree of closure, although clearly the effects of Finnis's actions can never fully be undone.
"Finnis will now have to face the consequences of his horrendous conduct."