'Serial rapist' carried out 'shocking and depraved' attacks on women and children

12 November 2019, 18:44 | Updated: 12 November 2019, 18:46

Joseph McCann allegedly attacked women and children
Joseph McCann allegedly attacked women and children. Picture: Met Police
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

A man accused of a string of "shocking and depraved" sexual assaults attacked victims as young as 11, the Old Bailey has been told.

Joseph McCann, 34, is facing 37 separate charges which include multiple rapes, kidnap and false imprisonment over three days in April and May.

The charges involve 11 alleged victims, one of them an 11-year-old boy and another a pensioner aged 71.

They took place across London, Watford and Manchester.

A court was told how Mr McCann, from Harrow, kidnapped two women off the street and forced them to have sex with each other during a 14-hour ordeal.

The defendant was not in the dock of the Old Bailey as the charges were outlined.

John Price QC opened the trial, telling jurors that one of the alleged victims, a 25-year-old woman, was abducted whilst walking home from Walthamstow shortly after midnight on April 25.

Mr McCann is facing 37 separate charges
Mr McCann is facing 37 separate charges. Picture: Met Police

"He told her to stop screaming or he would stab her. He dragged her to a nearby car, pushed her inside and drove off," Mr Price said.

Over the next 14 hours, the woman was raped "many times" and was subjected to acts of "shocking depravity and violence," the jury heard.

Mr Price continued: "He hit her and threatened to smash a vodka bottle in her face. Very many sexual assaults upon her took place in various locations, in and out of the car.

"He made her call him 'daddy' and say that she was a child. At one point the man parked the car near to a school, saying that he wanted to make her rape a child. He raped [the woman] at that location.

"On occasions he said he would put her in the canal to wash his DNA off her. At other times he said he would take her away to Europe and never release her."

Mr McCann allegedly kept the woman prisoner whilst snatching another 21-year-old female in Edgware shortly after noon the same day.

The defendant allegedly raped young children and a pensioner
The defendant allegedly raped young children and a pensioner. Picture: Cheshire Police

The jury was shown CCTV footage of the incident in which the victim can be seen being forced into a silver Ford S Max car.

The 21-year-old's younger sister managed to flee and ran away screaming. She could be heard crying during a 999 call in which her mother explained what happened.

Both captured women were forced to perform sexual acts on one another during the terrifying ordeal, jurors heard.

They eventually escaped after the 25-year-old hit Mr McCann over the head with a vodka bottle.

Mr Price told the court this was not the defendant's first attack, having taken another 21-year-old at knifepoint in Watford a couple of days earlier.

Mr McCann allegedly continued his rampage of sex attacks in the north west 10 days later, assaulting three women, three young girls and a young boy in the space of 12 hours on 5 May.

The court heard how we reportedly conned his way into a mother's home in Greater Manchester and proceeded to tie her to a bed, then raped her 17-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son.

After, he allegedly abducted a 71-year-old woman in her car at a Morrison's car park and raped the pensioner too.

The jury was told he then kidnapped and sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl before both her and the elderly woman managed to flee at Knutsford Service Station on the M6.

Mr McCann then made off in the pensioner's Fiat, which he allegedly used to abduct two 14-year-old girls in Cheshire.

The defendant is charged with:

- 10 counts of false imprisonment
- Seven counts of rape
- One count of rape of a child
- Two counts of causing or inciting a person to engage in sexual activity without consent
- Seven counts of kidnap
- One count of attempted kidnap
- Three counts of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity
- Three counts of assault by penetration
- One count of sexual assault
- Two counts of committing a sexual offence with intent.

He has pled not guilty to all the charges relating to the 11 alleged victims.

The trial continues...

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