'Dangerous' child rapist who 'denied any wrongdoing' when it was first reported in Lancashire jailed
A dangerous child sex offender has been jailed for raping a girl and sexually abusing another in Lancashire.
A member of the public called 999 after a man said his life was in danger after approaching her in Enfield Street, Accrington on May 18, 2021.
Police were flagged down by 74-year-old defendant Patrick McCann when officers arrived, who said: "I have something I need to get off my chest. I raped a child."
McCann was arrested and admitted to raping the girl in Accrington when she was just 12-years-old.
The offence was first reported to the police four years after it occurred, but when McCann was interviewed he denied any wrongdoing.
Despite numerous enquiries police said there was insufficient evidence to seek charges against McCann at that time.
When McCann was re-interviewed about the incident in May he said he "wanted to come clean because it had been playing on his mind for some time," police said.
When asked if there was anything further he wanted to add, he told officers he had also been in a sexual relationship with a different 12-year-old girl in Blackburn.
Detectives managed to identify the second victim who confirmed McCann had sexually abused her after saying he would give her cigarettes and alcohol.
McCann, of no fixed address, was charged with raping a child and engaging in sexual activity with a child following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service.
He pleaded guilty to all charges put to him when he appeared at Preston Crown Court earlier this year.
McCann was given a custodial sentence of 12-and-a-half years, with a further extended licence period of three years.
The Recorder of Preston, Judge Robert Altham, deemed McCann to be a dangerous offender and said he must serve at least two thirds of his custodial sentence before he is eligible to go before the Parole Board.
McCann was also put on the Sex Offenders Register for life.
DC Hazel Richardson, of East CID, said: "McCann is somebody who clearly presents a risk of harm to young girls through his vile sexual interests and I am pleased he has now been given this significant custodial sentence.
"I would like to praise the bravery of the victims in this case. I hope this case and its outcome shows the determination Lancashire Police has to get justice for the victims of these abhorrent crimes – no matter how long it takes."
She added: "I would like to encourage other victims of sexual offending to come forward, in the full knowledge that they will be believed, they will be listened to and we will do everything in our powers to bring the perpetrators to justice.
“Finally, I would like to praise all the officers who have worked so hard to compile the evidence that has led to this dangerous offender being put back behind bars.”
If you or somebody you know has been the victim of a sexual offence report it to police via 101 or https://doitonline.lancashire.police.uk/
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