A man accused of snatching a six-year-old girl from her bath and raping her wrote in his diary that day: "Phew, it's over, chill now", a court heard yesterday.

Peter Voisey (37) of Blyth, Northumberland, denies abduction, rape, and sexual assault on the girl in North Tyneside on December 27 last year.

In police interview, he explained that the diary entry referred to his relief that Christmas was over, Newcastle Crown Court heard today.

James Goss QC, prosecuting, told the jury: "Was it, however, a reference to what he had done that day, something about which he had been thinking for some time?"

Earlier, Mr Goss told the court that the girl was taken from the bathroom in the two-bedroom, ground floor flat that she shared with her toddler brother, mother and mother's partner.

Mr Goss said: "At about 6.50pm a man entered the bathroom, told her to be quiet or he would hurt her, lifted her out of the bath, put his hand over her mouth, carried her to a car outside and drove off.

"After a short time he stopped and sexually assaulted her.

"He did this twice. "Having done what he wanted to do to her, he drove to a back lane about 300 metres from her home, where he left her, still naked, telling her to face the wall."

Nearby resident Geoffrey Brown heard the girl's cries and found her shivering in the back lane, the court heard.

Mr Brown and his wife saw the girl had blood on her legs and wrapped her in a dressing gown.

The hearing continues.