A long-term criminal stabbed a supermarket worker in the thigh twice as he attempt to run from a store. Now he's given a surprising reason for his actions.

The supermarket manager may now have permanent nerve damage to her leg.

Stephen John Towner, 47, pleaded guilty in the Southport District Court today to 27 charges including wounding, wilful damage and enter premises with intent.

Crown prosecutor Michael Mitchell said on August 17, 2017 Towner went into the Holywell Rd supermarket at Biggera Waters and purchased some items.

He left and returned minutes later, taking knives from the shelves and discarding their packing.

"He started waving the knives from side to side," Mr Mitchell said.

"This occurs in the aisles of the shopping centre while other shoppers are going about their day."

Mr Mitchell said Towner headed towards the back of the shopping centre where the supermarket manager tried to stop him leaving through the fire exit.

"As she tried to stop him, he has dropped his shoulder and barged her, stabbing her upper thigh," he said.

The court was told the woman was left with two stab wounds and will not know if she has permanent damage for at least 12 months.

After Towner left the store, he broke into an 85-year-old woman's home and police found him there minutes later.

Mr Mitchell said about a month earlier Towner was caught driving the wrong way down Cavill Ave in Surfers Paradise and refused to stop for police.

The court was told Towner first came to the attention of police in 1989 and had been before the courts a total of 38 times.

Defence barrister Nick McGhee, instructed by Howden Saggers Lawyers, said Towner thought three people were at the front of the supermarket threatening him so he tried to arm himself and escape through the supermarket.

He said Towner had spiralled after the death of his brother in his late teens and the death of his wife in 2010.

Mr McGhee said he battled an opiate addiction.

Judge Ian Dearden sentenced Towner to three years prison with immediate release on parole.

Towner has already spent 18 months in custody.