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Joseph McCann: Man embarked on 'series of depraved sex attacks'

Joseph McCann Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Joseph McCann is accused of 37 offences against 11 alleged victims

A man embarked on a series of "depraved" sex attacks on women and children, one as young as 11, a court has heard.

Joseph McCann is accused of 37 offences against 11 alleged victims, including rapes, kidnap and false imprisonment, over two weeks in April and May.

The Old Bailey heard the 34-year-old snatched two women off London streets and told one he would "never release her" as he raped her multiple times.

Mr McCann of Harrow denies the charges.

The jury was told the defendant's "spree of sex attacks" started in Watford before continuing in London, Greater Manchester and Cheshire.

One 21-year-old woman was grabbed at knifepoint and bundled into a car as she walked home from a Watford nightclub on 21 April.

Prosecutor John Price QC said she was released later that morning in a "state of great distress".

'Rape a child'

A 25-year-old woman was abducted as she walked home in Walthamstow, east London, just after midnight on 25 April.

Mr Price said the defendant told her "to stop screaming or he would stab her" then dragged her into a car "and drove off".

The court heard the woman was raped "many times" by Mr McCann in various locations over the next 14 hours and subjected to acts of "shocking depravity and violence".

"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," Mr Price said.

Later the same day, and while still holding the woman prisoner, the defendant abducted a 21-year-old woman in Edgware, north London, as she walked along the street with her sister, the court heard.

CCTV of the woman being bundled into a silver people carrier just after midday was played to the jury.

Mr Price said she "suffered a similar fate" to the 25-year-old woman before the pair managed to escape while in Watford where Mr McCann had booked a hotel room for two nights.

He told the jury they would have come to "further harm" but one of the women hit their captor over the head with a vodka bottle and some builders "bravely" intervened to prevent them being recaptured.

Pensioner abducted

The attacks resumed 10 days later in the North West of England where, over 12 hours on 5 May, three women, three young girls and a boy of 11 were assaulted, the Old Bailey heard.

Mr McCann allegedly conned his way into a mother's Greater Manchester home where he tied her to the bed and raped her 17-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son.

The court heard he then abducted a 71-year-old woman who was in her car at a Morrisons car park.

He raped her and also sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl before both managed to escape at Knutsford Service Station on the M6, the court heard.

The 34-year-old is accused of then snatching two 14-year-old girls in Cheshire.

Mr McCann, who was not in court, is charged with:

  • Ten 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

The trial continues.

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