South Yorkshire man goes on trial accused of raping schoolgirl at knifepoint

Rother View Road, Canklow
Rother View Road, Canklow

A South Yorkshire man has gone on trial accused of raping one schoolgirl at knifepoint and carrying out a sex act in front of another in two attacks alleged to have taken place over five years apart.

Paul Jones, 48, of Herringthorpe Valley Road, Rotherham is accused of engaging in sexual activity in front of an 11-year-old schoolgirl at a bus stop in the Clifton area of Rotherham on the afternoon of June 11, 2011.

He is also accused of raping a 15-year-old school girl at knifepoint in woodland off Rother View Road, Canklow, Rotherham at just after 8am on November 14, last year. During the same attack he is also alleged to have carried out a sex act in front of the girl and to have caused or incited her to engage in sexual activity with him.

Opening the case, prosecutor James Baird told the court how during the incident involving the 11-year-old girl Jones is reported to have asked the girl the time before carrying out the alleged sex act.

Following the incident, Mr Baird said Jones left the scene, while the girl 'ran away' to report the incident.

Police interviewed the girl, and traces of the attacker's DNA were taken from the girl's clothing which were then put into a national database.

"But at that stage, no matches were found," said Mr Baird.

Just over five-and-a-half years later, Mr Baird said Jones' second alleged victim was walking to school across a field near to the woodlands where the attack is said to have taken place, when she noticed a jogger run past her.

He said: "But a few minutes later she heard footsteps. She was grabbed from behind."

Mr Baird said the girl recognised the man who grabbed her to be the same man as the one who previously jogged past her.

While grabbing the girl with his left hand, her attacker is then said to have brandished a kitchen knife with a lacerated blade and black handle towards the girl with his right hand.

He is then said to have taken the girl to nearby woodlands and thrown her on to the floor, before carrying out the rape and alleged sex assaults.

Shortly afterwards Jones is said to have fled the scene, as the girl text her sister to tell her what had happened.

Her sister and a friend found the girl near to the alleged crime scene, and took her to report.the incident to the police.

Traces of her attacker's DNA were taken from her body during an examination from a doctor.

"The defendant now accepts that CCTV shows him arriving in his black Mondeo car at 8.14am that morning. He can be seen getting out of the vehicle and leaving his car before walking off in the direction of Canklow. He returns at 8.45am. He says he was walking his dog. The prosecution case is that the CCTV shows there was no dog," added Mr Baird.

Mr Baird told jurors that Jones was arrested on November 17, and a kitchen knife with a lacerated blade and black handle, of a similar style to the one used in the attack on the 15-year-old girl, was found underneath a mat in the footwell of his car.

Following this, the 15-year-old girl identified Jones as her attacker during an identification parade.

DNA evidence taken from both schoolgirls was found to be a match for Jones, and Mr Baird told the court that the chances of the DNA not originating from the defendant are estimated to be 'one in a billion'.

Mr Baird added that Jones has suggested he has been 'set-up' with falsified pieces of evidence, including the DNA forensic testing, set to be used in the prosecution case against him.

Jones denies all charges.

The trial continues.

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