A DANGEROUS sex offender who raped two children has been given a sentence totalling 15-and-a-half years.
Patrick McCann, 74, had previously been investigated over one of the offences but no charges were brought.
However, he eventually confessed to that offence police in May this year — before admitting to the assault of a second child police had no knowledge of.
McCann pleaded guilty to raping a child and engaging in sexual activity with a child when he appeared at Preston Crown Court earlier this year.
This week he was given a custodial sentence of 12-and-a-half years, with a further extended licence period of three years.
"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," said DC Hazel Richardson of Lancashire Constabulary.
'I have something to get off my chest'
McCann's crimes were exposed on May 18 of this year after police responded to reports of a man on Enfield Street, Accrington, England, who said his life was in danger.
The man asked for the police to be called and when officers arrived, they were flagged down by McCann.
He told them: "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 had first been reported to police four years after it occurred but when McCann was interviewed about the matter at the time, he denied any wrongdoing.
Despite numerous enquiries, there was insufficient evidence to seek charges against McCann at the time.
When McCann was re-interviewed about the incident in May, he fully admitted to raping the child and said he wanted to come clean because it had been playing on his mind for some time.
When asked if there was anything he wanted to add, he revealed that before he had raped the girl in Accrington, he had been in a sexual relationship with a different 12-year-old girl in Blackburn.
Detectives managed to identify and speak to that victim, who confirmed what McCann had done to her and said that he would give her cigarettes and alcohol.
Sex Offenders Register
"I would like to praise the bravery of the victims in this case," said DC Richardson.
"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.
"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."
McCann must serve at least two thirds of his custodial sentence before he is eligible for parole.
He was also put on the Sex Offenders Register for life.