Joseph McCann, 34, allegedly attacked the teenager in Heywood, Manchester
A witness who ‘helped rescue victims’ escaping ‘serial rapist’ Joseph McCann said she had ‘never seen such fear in a person’s face’ after she found a young girl ‘distressed and crying’.
A jury today heard that McCann sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl in the back of a car after kidnapping her off the street.
The teenager revealed to police how she suffered a depraved sex attack at the hands of McCann after he dragged her into the vehicle in Heywood, Greater Manchester.
In a statement read out in court, driver Lisa Partridge said McCann had been ‘pumped up with aggression’ after he forced the youngster into the back of a car driven by a 71-year-old woman who he had also abducted and sexually assaulted.
McCann is accused 37 charges including the rape of a child under 13, kidnap, and sexual assault concerning 11 alleged victims, aged 11-71.
Ms Partridge said: ‘She was petrified. I don’t think I’ve ever seen fear like that in a person’s face before.
‘She was wide eyed in helplessness. I could see she had a set of keys clenched in her hand and the male was using his hand to force the keys from her.
‘The male then walked away I think he may have even jogged a bit to a small black car.
Footage shows suspected serial rapist Joseph McCann stroll into a petrol station in Watford while an alleged victim sits in his car
A CCTV image issued by the Metropolitan Police of McCann using a drive-thru at a McDonalds on April 25, whilst one of his alleged victims was in his car
‘He appeared pumped up with aggression, he appeared like he was waiting to be challenged by someone.’
Ms Partridge added that the girl had been distressed and crying and that her hair had been messed up.
‘I asked her if anything sexual had happened to her looking back. I probably shouldn’t have asked her to ask anything. I guess it was just my mothering instincts setting in.’
Jurors heard yesterday how the 34-year-old McCann had grabbed the 71-year-old woman as she loaded her car with shopping at Morrisons in Bury, Lancashire, on 5 May.
She was sexually abused before he pulled up next to the schoolgirl and two boys in Heywood, Greater Manchester.
He snatched all three before releasing the boys as he subjected the teenager to a sickening assault lasting nearly three hours.
She said she tried to flee but he dragged her back in the car, before trying to stab her in the leg with a pen.
The girl and the pensioner only escaped the harrowing ordeal hours later when they pulled into a service station.
Giving a video statement to police, the girl said McCann asked them: ‘Which one of you has been calling my sister names?’
He gave a name for the sister they had never heard of and ordered all three into the car.
The Old Bailey heard they drove a short distance before the two boys were ordered out.
McCann is accused of 37 charges including the rape of a child under 13, kidnap, and sexual assault concerning 11 alleged victims
The girl said: ‘They were telling me to get out the car so I got, out but I got dragged back in.’
The pensioner was then made to drive and McCann sat next to the girl.
She added: ‘He sat in the back with me and started getting closer. He was saying he was in love with me and all that, then he started sexually abusing me.
‘When I was in the car he tried to stab me in the leg with a pen.’
She said McCann told her he was taking her as his ‘hostage’ and the pensioner driving was his grandmother.
‘He kept saying that apparently I am going to go out with him, he asked me if I had a boyfriend. He kept saying he was in love with me. I said stop saying that because it is not really true.’
She said McCann kissed and repeatedly abused her, while he was swigging from a bottle of sparkling wine and smoking ‘loads and loads.’
The girl told how he tried to ply her with wine and cigarettes but she told him: ‘I don’t smoke or drink.’
After an ordeal lasting more than two and a half hours the girl said he fell asleep on the back seat and the pensioner took her opportunity to escape.
They pulled into Knutsford Services on the M6 and she ran off after helping the girl to get away as well.
‘She opened the door and ran so I could escape,’ the teenager said.
McCann chased them briefly and shouted abuse at the pensioner – but then got back into the car and drove off. They were helped by members of the public and called the police.
A CCTV image issued by the police of McCann at the Phoenix Lodge Hotel in Watford on the afternoon of April 25, as he left two different alleged victims, in his car outside
A schoolboy told police he and a friend tried to fight off an alleged serial rapist who had apparently kidnapped a girl.
The teenager – who cannot be named because of his age – said he was walking along a street in Greater Manchester with one male friend and one female friend of a similar age when they were stopped by Joseph McCann, who initially accused the trio of bullying his sister.
In a recorded video interview, the boy said 34-year-old McCann was drinking from a bottle of wine in a car before accusing the three and ordering them into the vehicle.
The court heard that a woman – who McCann said was his grandmother – was in the front of the car at the time.
The trial previously heard the woman was a 71-year-old shopper who was punched in the face by McCann before being kidnapped and sexually assaulted in her car.
The boy said: ‘This guy stopped us, he said, “Which one of you was calling my sister names and making threats to her?” We said, “We haven’t, it was not us.” He told us to get into the car.’
The boy said McCann then told the boys to ‘hop out’ and wait on the pavement ‘for five minutes’, with the female friend remaining in the back seat of the car.
The witness said McCann told them he would stab them if they reported the incident to police.
‘He said he was keeping her (the girl) hostage, then he drove off at 50mph with his ‘grandma’,’ the boy said. ‘(The girl) was just crying. We asked her if she was OK. We tried to get her out. My (male) friend was trying to get the guy off her, for at least two minutes.’
The boys then raised the alarm at a nearby shop. The complainants are aged between 11 and 71, and the offences are said to have occurred across five police force areas over a two-week period between 20 April and 5 May.
McCann, of Aylesbury, Bucks, denies seven counts of rape, one count of rape of a child under 13, seven counts of kidnap, one attempted kidnap, 10 counts of false imprisonment, three counts of assault by penetration, three counts of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, one count of sexual assault and two of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without their consent.
The trial continues.