Horrendous screams of mum protecting child from paedophile

A witness described how the screams of a mum protecting her child from a knife wielding paedophile "sent shivers right through my whole body."

Natalie Grimes, 40, was confronted in an Asda car-park by twisted Duncan Johnson, who tried to slash her face in a bid to steal her car while her seven-year-old daughter was inside.

The terrified youngster was sat just yards away while her mum, who works as a carer, battled the 41-year-old serial offender, who was later jailed for six years.

While Mrs Grimes was being attacked, her frightened but courageous daughter got out of the car and screamed at Johnson to leave her mum alone.

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A witness said: "I was in the car park when this happened. The poor mum's screams sent shivers right through my whole body.

Duncan Johnson, 41, jailed for a shocking attack on a mum at Asda

"I'm so glad her and her daughter are safe. Six years is not long enough. He should never get out. He's proved he going to re-offend."

Last week, mum-of-four Mrs Grimes spoke exclusively to the ECHO about her chilling ordeal, describing how the violent paedophile left her daughter "mentally scarred."

Mrs Grimes, from Tuebrook, said: "My little girl is traumatised, she sleeps in the bed with us, and wants all the windows and doors locked.

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"Even if I'm doing the dishes, she's got to be behind me.

"I can't get him out of my head…

"It's been the worst time of my life."

Natalie Grimes, who heroically fought off an armed paedophile as he tried to abduct her seven-year-old daughter

The incident happened around 11.30am on Sunday, March 15, at the Asda store off Utting Avenue in Walton.

Johnson was chased by members of the public who heard the commotion and wrestled him to the ground in a citizen's arrest.

Johnson, a convicted sex offender, was handed a six year jail sentence for attempted robbery and possession of an offensive weapon, which could see him released in four years.

But the sentence was described by Mrs Grimes as "nowhere near enough."

She told the ECHO: "It was just before lockdown, and everybody was out panic buying.

"I'd put my little girl in the car and was putting my shopping in the boot before returning the trolley when he suddenly had me by my throat.

"He was strangling me.

"He was saying, 'Give me the f***ing car' with the baby in.

"The baby jumped out the car, and started shouting, "Get off my mum!"

"He brought a knife over my head, I saw it coming over my face, and tried to duck, so he slashed my coat instead of my face.

"He was definitely trying to hurt me.

"My daughter was screaming, and then he ran off over the grass verge, by which point, everyone came running over.

"Men from Asda went running after him.

"He had a plastic bag which contained the knife and the duct tape, he also dropped a bobble hat.

"He threw the knife on the grass and a passer-by collected it."

She added: "He'd ripped all my coat with the blade of the knife, so police took it away for forensics."

Natalie Grimes, who heroically fought off an armed paedophile as he tried to abduct her seven-year-old daughter

Johnson denied the shocking attack, which also involved him trying to steal her handbag and car keys as he warned the mum: "I will f***ing kill you."

It forced Mrs Grimes to have to go to an identity parade during which she pointed at him as the person responsible.

The Kirkby man has a catalogue of 30 convictions, which started when he was a child, racking up 128 separate criminal offences.

They include a six year jail sentence for causing or inciting a girl to engage in sexual activity and causing a child to watch a sexual act in a wooded area.

He once caused children to watch indecent material on a computer.

His appalling record also includes a nine year sentence for the invasion of a 65-year-old man's home, where he stabbed the pensioner in the neck to steal £1,600.

Mrs Grimes, who praised Merseyside Police for their handling of the case and support given to her, told how she was left stunned when reading the ECHO to learn of Johnson's jail sentence.

The details of his criminal past were an unexpected and added blow, she added.

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The 40-year-old said: "Reading what he'd done before was horrendous.

"I felt like I'd been kicked back down again.

"All I wanted to do was protect my daughter.

Johnson, who eventually pleaded guilty, had been living his brother's garden in a tent, because the parents of the girl he abused had discovered his previous address, and it wasn't safe for him to live in the area.

Johnson was jailed for six years, with an extended three years on licence.

It means he must serve at least four years behind bars before he is eligible for parole.

At the time of the incident, Merseyside Police said Johnson was arrested on suspicion of attempted child abduction but he was not subsequently charged with this offence.

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