AN ELDERLY victim who was abducted and raped by Joseph McCann has spoken publicly for the first time.

The 71-year-old pensioner was targeted as she loaded her shopping into her car at Morrisons supermarket in Ramsbottom, after attending church.

In an interview with the BBC, the elderly woman explained that the sex offender appeared at the front passenger window and got into her vehicle.

She said: "I shouted get out of my car and he punched me in the face."

McCann, aged 34, drove the woman to an industrial estate where he raped her and threw her phone into a bush.

She said she was in the car with the attacker for four-and-a-half hours.

At one point, she said McCann told her "I've got a knife, I killed somebody this morning."

McCann launched a two-week rampage across Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Watford, London and Hertfordshire in May last year.

It emerged that he had been wrongly released from prison when he committed his crimes.

He attacked victims aged between 11 and 71 in what police described as an “unprecedented” campaign of rape, kidnap and false imprisonment.

Hundreds of police officers were deployed in the nationwide manhunt before he was arrested early on May 6.

Speaking to the BBC's home affairs correspondent, June Kelly, the 71-year-old woman called for senior figures to be held to account for probation failings which led to McCann’s mistaken release.

In December last year, McCann was jailed for life after attacking 11 women and children in a two-week campaign of rape and kidnap.

He will serve a minimum of 30 years in prison for kidnapping and raping women and children in England.