A SCHOOLGIRL bravely fought off a kidnapper who grabbed her arm as she waited at a bus stop, a court heard.
The 11-year-old was on her way to school when it is alleged Ben Hanger whispered “come with me” as he attempted to snatch her.
An 11-year-old girl fought off an alleged kidnapper, Maidstone Crown Court heardCredit: AFP
She screamed and managed to escape his clutches before fleeing in a distressed state to a relative’s home nearby.
Hanger, 31, claims he was only trying to nab the youngster’s phone when he accosted her in Sheerness, Kent, at around 7.30am on January 21 this year.
At the start of his trial, prosecutor Mary Jacobson told Maidstone Crown Court that CCTV captured Hanger driving past the schoolgirl, dressed in her uniform, in his Vauxhall Meriva.
He then pulled up on the same side of the road she was walking along and got out after she had strolled past.
But as the girl crossed the road she believed Hanger, whom she did not know, was following her and appeared to be in a hurry, the court heard.
“She got to a bus stop and was slightly concerned so she thought she would let him pass,” Miss Jacobson said.
“But he grabbed hold of her arm and whispered to her ‘come with me’.
“There was no one else around at this time of the morning.
“She shouted at him to ‘get off’ and managed to extricate herself and run off.
“When she looked around she could no longer see the man. He had gone back to his car and driven off.
“Having successfully escaped his clutches, she ran to a house nearby where she arrived upset and frightened.
“Her mum was contacted and the police called.
“The Crown say this was an attempt to kidnap her, a schoolgirl, from the street as she was going to school.
“Fortuitously, she screamed and managed to run away to safety.”
Hanger’s car triggered an ANPR camera – a mass surveillance device – and he was arrested that same day at his home.
The girl subsequently picked him out in an identification procedure and his DNA was found on her coat sleeve.
Danny Moore, defending, told the jury Hanger maintains his motive was nothing more sinister than trying to rob the girl of her phone.
The trial continues.