Richard Day, of Barnstaple, Devon, waited until his victim was alone as she crossed a bridge on her way to a friend's house in Northamptonshire before he came up behind her and put his hand over her mouth.
He then punched in the head and hit her face against the metal railings to subdue her, before attempting to drag her underneath the walkway.
But yesterday (September 3), Northampton Crown Court heard how the teenage victim struggled free from her 52-year-old attacker and resisted to the point she "broke his conviction", forcing him to abandon his attack and flee.
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Her Honour Judge Adrienne Lucking told Day he was a dangerous man who would "remain a risk for the rest of [his] life".
She said: "I am sure that your intention was to rape her.
"You approached her in an isolated area. You used violent blows to subdue and kidnap her."
The court also heard how Day - who was jailed for four years for a "chillingly similar" incident of rape in 1996 - already had his trousers undone as he attacked the girl.
But shortly after she got away, she found a member of the public and told them what happened. The police were called and Day was arrested shortly after.
Day was found guilty by a jury for the kidnap attempt in August 2017. In mitigation, Day's defence barrister said it was "mercifully a relatively short incident of kidnap".
Judge Lucking said: "You have a propensity for rape. It may have laid dormant for several years... but I am satisfied that you are a dangerous offender."
Day was jailed for 16 years and will remain on the sex offenders register for the rest of his life.
Judge Lucking also commended the victim for her "extraordinary courage and presence of mind" after her detailed description of Day led to his arrest.