A former beauty queen stabbed three times and left for dead by her ex in Spain has spoken of her relief after he was jailed for almost 15 years.
Mhairi Campbell was left fighting for her life when William McDonald plunged a blade into her as she tried to leave his Costa Blanca holiday home in July 2017.
Speaking to the Daily Record about her terrifying ordeal, Mhairi says she almost didn’t make it out alive and described the crime scene as “like a scene of a massacre.”
“I’m always going to have bad days and flashbacks, but I think I’m finally able to start processing it because I have an end to it now,” she said.
The former Miss Scotland finalist will fly home to Glasgow next week after spending the last six months in Spain awaiting the trial.
And the 60-year-old, from East Kilbride, says she can finally start to rebuild her life after McDonald, 61, from Rutherglen, was convicted of her attempted murder in Alicante this week.
She said: “The past four years have been hellish. I still remember when the Guardia Civil took me back to the flat where it happened to collect my clothes. They had just finished with the crime scene and the tape was still up.
“I remember looking at the bed where I had crawled thinking ‘how did I get out of there alive?’ I nearly didn’t. It was like a scene of a massacre.”
McDonald knifed Mhairi in the back, arm and stomach and left her lying in a pool of blood in his in apartment in Rojales near Torrevieja after she refused to give him money to leave Spain.
The brute asked her if she wanted to write a letter to her daughter as she lay bleeding and in agony on her bed, before proceeding to clean the crime scene with bleach.
She begged him for help but he fled the property, promising to call an ambulance that never arrived.
Mhairi was only saved when a witness saw McDonald running away and a neighbour heard her cries for help.
A year later, her ex was arrested on a European warrant after returning home to Scotland and was extradited to Spain where he has remained in custody ever since.
Mhairi gave evidence at his trial at Alicante’s Provincial Court last month and Spanish judges this week convicted McDonald and sentenced him to 14 years and 11 months in prison.
He was ordered to stay away from Mhairi for 24 years and pay her compensation of more than £20,000.
Mhairi said: “The judges have clearly appreciated the severity of the crime because it was a brutal attack and that is reflected in the sentencing.
“For a victim to be waiting four years is just too much and it has taken its toll but it’s good to know it’s finally over.
“When the Guardia Civil came to break the news to me in the hospital that he’d turned up in Glasgow they said ‘don’t worry, we’ll go to Scotland and bring him back to a Spanish prison’.
“I think McDonald thought the Spanish were going to leave him there and he underestimated them.
“They have done exactly what they said they were going to do.
“You can’t leave somebody for dead in Spain and just get away with it in Scotland.
“I was asked if I had any objections to him going back to Scotland to serve his sentence. But apparently that is a very lengthy process and he has to do a portion of his sentence here before that can happen.”
At his trial, McDonald claimed he was never at the apartment at the time Mhairi was stabbed.
State prosecutors had asked trial judges to cage him for eight years but they sided with a private lawyer hired by Mhairi and almost doubled the sentence.
Lead trial judge Jose Antonio Dura Carrillo ruled: “The weapon used was capable of causing death and the area where the stabbings occurred put the victim’s life at risk.
“There is no doubt about the defendant’s wish to kill his victim and not just injure her.”
He added: “It should be noted that even though the result of death sought by the accused did not prosper, everything that should have caused it occurred including his use of the means to bring it about.
“The fact it didn’t occur was for reasons outside his control.”
Mhairi, a former department store account manager who made the Miss Scotland finals in 1978, had emergency surgery for internal bleeding and also suffered damage to her spleen and broken ribs. She has been left with a string of long-term health problems.
In May, she told the Sunday Mail how she felt a “prisoner” in Spain after travelling there before Christmas to assist the case, saying she was unable to afford to travel to and from Spain under quarantine rules.
She says she is now coming to terms with the fact she will never know why her ex wanted her dead.
Mhairi said: “I knew the relationship was bad but you don’t stick a knife in someone and walk away leaving them to bleed to death.
“I always asked myself why? Did he hate me that much that he wanted to kill me? What possessed him to do this? It’s just something I’m never going to get an answer on.
“At the time I just focused on trying to survive instead and now I look back and think ‘did that really happen to me?’
“I was only here for the trial and have no reason to be here now. My business here is done so I will go home and start moving on with my own life and leave this behind me in Alicante.”