AN elderly woman was punched in the face before being sexually assaulted in her car by an alleged serial rapist, a court has heard.

Joseph McCann, 34, was said to have kidnapped the 71-year-old pensioner as she was about to drive out Morrisons supermarket car park in Ramsbottom shortly after 1pm on May 5.

She was then driven to an industrial estate car park where he allegedly raped her, the Old Bailey heard.

McCann, of Harrow, north-west London, is accused of abducting, raping and holding prisoner a string of alleged victims aged 11 to 71 across London, Hertfordshire and the North West over three separate days between April 20 and May 5.

He is on trial having denied 37 charges relating to 11 alleged victims.

In a police interview played to a jury today, the pensioner told how she had finished shopping at Morrisons when McCann approached her car.

"He got into the passenger seat. I shouted, 'Get out, get out' and that is when he punched me in the face," she said in an interview with police.

"He said, 'I don't want to do that, I have got a grandma'.

"He said he wanted a lift. He said, 'I don't want to hurt you. I have got a knife. I have killed somebody'."

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The woman, who had been to church that morning, said she initially drove on the M66 motorway, but then she was made to switch seats with McCann as he wanted to buy cigarettes.

After they stopped at a service station, the victim said she was driven to the entrance of an industrial estate.

"He got a bottle of wine out from my car and was drinking that while driving," the woman said.

"We got into this car park and he said, 'We'll have sex now whilst we are waiting'."

The woman told how she was made to partially undress and forced to perform a sex act on McCann.

"At some point he threw my phone into the undergrowth," the woman said.

He later drove them to a cash machine where he used her bank card to withdraw money, before meeting with a group of "youngsters", the woman said.

She was then made to get in the driver's seat again, while a "little girl" got into the back seat with McCann, the court heard.

The woman told how she was ordered to drive to Manchester, but said that because McCann was "messing about" he was not looking where they were going.

She drove in the wrong direction and eventually pulled up to a service station as they were running low on fuel.

As she got out of the car, McCann "woke up" and ran after her, the woman said.

She told police that the girl in the back seat also ran out, while McCann grabbed the car keys and drove off at around 6pm.

The trial continues.