‘Depraved serial rapist’ Joseph McCann attacked women and children, court told

The defendant was not in the dock of the Old Bailey as a prosecutor outlined details of 37 charges against him relating to 11 victims.

Joseph McCann
Joseph McCann

An alleged serial rapist carried out a string of “shocking and depraved” attacks on women and children, a court has heard.

Over three separate days, Joseph McCann, 34, allegedly abducted, raped and held prisoner a string of victims aged 11 to 71 across London, Hertfordshire and the North West.

The defendant was not in the dock of the Old Bailey as prosecutor John Price QC outlined details of 37 charges against him relating to 11 victims.

McCann snatched his first victim at knifepoint after she left Pryzm nightclub in Watford, Hertfordshire, jurors were told.

The 21-year-old was forced into a Ford Mondeo in the early hours of April 21, taken home and raped in her own bed, Mr Price said.

Just after midnight on April 25, McCann allegedly struck in Walthamstow, east London, kidnapping a 25-year-old woman as she walked home from work.

Mr Price told jurors: “He told her to stop screaming or he would stab her.

Joseph McCann court case
McCann is accused of multiple rapes (Met Police/PA)

“He dragged her to a nearby car, pushed her inside and drove off.“

The prosecutor said the woman was raped “many times” over the next 14 hours and subjected to acts of “shocking depravity and violence”.

Mr Price went on: “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.”

Just after midday on the same day, McCann allegedly abducted a 21-year-old woman in Edgware, north London, while still holding the 25-year-old prisoner.

Jurors were shown CCTV footage of the woman being bundled into a silver Ford S Max car while her younger sister, who had been with her, got away.

The 21-year-old was not only raped but also forced to engage in sexual activity with the terrified 25-year-old during their harrowing ordeal, jurors heard.

The pair managed to escape in Watford after the older woman hit McCann over the head with a vodka bottle, jurors heard.

McCann allegedly continued his crime spree in the North West 10 days later.

Over 12 hours on May 5, he attacked three women, three young girls and a boy of 11 around the Greater Manchester area, Mr Price said.

He allegedly conned his way into a mother’s home in Lancashire, tied her to a bed and raped her 17-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son.

Afterwards, he allegedly abducted a 71-year-old woman at a Morrison’s car park in Bury.

The woman had just loaded her shopping in the boot and was about to drive off when McCann jumped into her Fiat car, punched her in the face and ordered her to drive, it was claimed.

He raped the pensioner and went on to kidnap and sexually assault a 13-year-old girl before both managed to escape at Knutsford Service Station on the M6, the court heard.

McCann made off in the Fiat, which he used to snatch his last victims, two 14-year-old girls in Congleton, Cheshire, it was alleged.

Not guilty pleas have been entered on all the charges relating to the 11 alleged victims.

McCann, of Harrow, north west London, 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 and two counts of committing a sexual offence with intent.

The trial, which is due to go on for six weeks, was adjourned until Wednesday morning.

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