April 2020

Mum fought off knife-wielding paedophile who tried to rob car with child inside

A young girl whose mum saved her from being abducted by a convicted paedophile is scared that the offender will “come back” for her.

Duncan Johnson demanded Natalie Grimes’ handbag and car keys moments after she put her seven-year-old daughter in the car.

The paedophile grabbed his victim by the throat and held a blade above her head as she desperately tried to fight him off

He said “I will f***ing kill you” and brought the blade down just as Ms Grimes’ raised an arm to protect herself.

The knife slashed her coat.

The mum refused to let Johnson have the keys, fearing that he would abduct her child.

Eventually the knifeman fled, chased by two men who had seen the weapon.

They wrestled him to the ground and held him there until he was arrested outside the store in the Walton area of Liverpool.

Johnson was jailed for six years with an extended three years on license, having had 30 convictions for 128 past offences.

Johnson’s criminal record started with an arson in 1991 when he was a youth and he was convicted of possessing an offensive weapon in 1995.

He was jailed for nine years for robbery in 2008 after he and others stormed a 65-year-old man’s home, stabbed him in the neck with a knife, and stole £1,600.

Johnson was locked up for six years in 2015 for causing or inciting a girl to engage in sexual activity and causing a child to watch a sexual act.

When interviewed, Johnson, of Kelday Close, Northwood, Kirkby, claimed he was chased for no reason and had been threatened, so tried to hide.

He was picked out in an identity parade before lying to police again and then finally admitting attempted robbery and possession of an offensive weapon.

At Liverpool Crown Court Natalie spoke of how she was concerned that her daughter would be traumatised, while recalling the horrifying ordeal.

In a victim personal statement read by Iain Criddle, prosecuting, the mum described how she has since barely slept.

Natalie said she would wake up screaming and was prescribed sleeping tablets due to the trauma of her ordeal.

The anxious victim was also given anti-inflammatory tablets, because she suffered pain in her neck during the attack.

The young mum said: “My daughter who is seven witnessed what happened, as she was in the car at the time.

“I could hear her screaming ‘my mum, my mum’.”

Mr Criddle said: “She used to be a bubbly child, but has now become quiet and cries a lot and the teachers at her school have noticed how this affected her.

“She follows her mum everywhere, even when she is washing the dishes, and she is worried ‘the man will come back and get them’.”

The mum said her daughter couldn’t stop crying and that no child should have to witness what she saw at the Asda on Sunday, March 15.

Mr Criddle said the mum “kept seeing the man’s face and the tone of his voice in her mind’s eye”.

He added: “She feared what would happen if he had got the car. She thought he was going to kill her.

“It was the worst experience of her life, it was horrendous, and she keeps having flashbacks and is constantly upset and can’t stop crying.

“She is a carer for her mother but has been unable to do this since the incident. She is constantly looking over her shoulder.

“She says she will never ever go back to Asda as a result of this incident and her mother is taking her out to buy things for her daughter’s birthday, because even the thought of this makes her uneasy.