Serial rapist Joseph McCann given 33 life sentences

A serial rapist who carried out a string of sex attacks on 11 women and children across England has been given 33 life sentences.

Joseph McCann’s victims were aged between 11 and 71 and included three women who were abducted off the street at knifepoint and repeatedly raped.

He was found guilty of 37 offences at the Old Bailey on Friday (7 December).

Mr Justice Edis said he had no doubt McCann, of Harrow, was “a threat to children and a paedophile”.

The judge also called for an “independent and systematic” investigation to be held as to why “the system failed to protect” McCann’s victims.

McCann, a convicted burglar, had been released from prison following a probation error in February before he embarked on a cocaine and vodka-fuelled rampage.

The 34-year-old’s “spree of sex attacks” started in Watford in April before he moved to London, Greater Manchester and Cheshire over a two-week period.

On 21 April, McCann grabbed a 21-year-old woman at knifepoint as she walked home from a nightclub in Watford and took her to a house where he raped her.

Four days later, a 25-year-old woman was abducted as she walked home in Walthamstow, east London, just after midnight. She was then repeatedly raped in a number of locations over 14 hours.

Later the same day he snatched a 21-year-old woman in Edgware, north London, as she walked along the street with her sister.

The pair finally managed to escape when McCann drove to Watford, where he had booked a hotel room, and one of them hit him over the head with a vodka bottle before they fled to get help.

In the early hours of 5 May, McCann tricked his way into the home of a woman he had met in a bar in Greater Manchester.

Once inside, he tied her to a bed and molested her 11-year-old son and 17-year-old daughter, who he told “you are going to Europe tomorrow, you are mine”.

The girl, who said she feared becoming a “sex slave”, managed to escape by jumping naked from a window, and she alerted police.

McCann then abducted and raped a 71-year-old woman and then sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl he had taken from the street.

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