Joseph McCann trial: Rape accused 'threatened to slit mum's throat'

Image source, Met Police
Image caption,
Joseph McCann is accused of tying up a mother with electrical cable and assaulting her children

A mother was tied up while her children were abused by a knife-wielding sex attacker who threatened to slit her throat, a court has heard.

Joseph McCann is accused of tricking his way into the woman's Lancashire home after a night out.

He used electrical cable to tie her up before assaulting her daughter, 17, and 11-year-old son, the Old Bailey was told.

Mr McCann, 34, from Harrow, denies 37 offences against 11 victims.

Jurors have heard the mother tried to comfort her son after the three of them managed to escape, telling him: "It's OK, son. We are alive."

She described her ordeal on 5 May in a police interview played during the trial.

"I have come back in a taxi where this fella has said 'I will come with you to make sure you get home OK'," she said.

Media caption,
Mr McCann was allegedly captured on CCTV at a petrol station

Mr McCann later produced a knife as he ordered the woman to lie down in her son's bedroom, forcing the children into another bedroom, the jury was told.

"He tied my legs together and then he turned me back over again but he kept coming in saying 'you watch, or say anything, I will slit your throat," the woman continued.

"I said 'are you going to kill us all' and he said 'shut up'."

She described hearing Mr McCann tell her son to lie down on the floor and not to look at him.

"It was like I was in and out of consciousness," she said, adding: "I don't know if it was fright.

"I was trying to get out but I thought if he sees me he would kill me. He had my children in the bedroom."

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
CCTV images allegedly show Joseph McCann at the Phoenix Lodge Hotel in Watford on 25 April

The court was told Mr McCann checked on her three or four times during the ordeal.

The woman said her son later ran downstairs, grabbed their attacker's discarded knife and used it to cut her free, saying: "Mummy, let's go out the back door."

She continued: "I said 'hold onto me'. I said 'run like you never ran before and you get out'."

During cross-examining, Jo Sidhu QC suggested the woman had been tied up because she tried to attack Mr McCann with a kitchen knife when he was in a bedroom with her daughter.

"It was obvious he was tying you up in order to stop you from being violent towards him because you were out of control," he said.

The witness replied: "I disagree with all of that."

The trial continues.

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