Alleged serial rapist Joseph McCann visited by magistrate in prison after he refused to attend court to hear 21 charges

ALLEGED serial rapist Joseph McCann was visited in jail by a judge today after refusing to attend court for a second day.

McCann, 34, is accused of 21 offences including the kidnap and rape of eight alleged victims aged from 11 to 71, from April 20 to May 5.

PA:Press Association3 Rape suspect Joseph McCann refused to leave his cell to hear the 21 charges

But he refused to leave his cell at south London’s Belmarsh Prison to attend Westminster Magistrates’ Court again to face the charges.

They were read at an unprecedented hearing behind bars, with McCann turning his back on the makeshift court and a senior judge.

During one alleged incident, McCann is accused of tying up a woman up in her own home and raping her 17-year-old daughter and son, 11.

McCann, from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, was arrested in Congleton, Cheshire after cops launched a manhunt to track down the fugitive.

USE OF FORCE

The alleged offences are said to have taken place across London, Watford, Cheshire, Manchester and Lancashire.

Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot authorised the use of force to bring McCann before her after he refused to leave the cells at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.

In an unprecedented move, she held the private hearing behind bars at Belmarsh prison on Thursday.

Reporters were updated from a makeshift courtroom in a nearby conference centre after the hearing in the prison's healthcare wing.

'TURNED HIS BACK ON COURT'

Ms Arbuthnot said McCann "turned his back on the court to begin with" and claimed the "officers stitched me up" before she remanded him in custody.

McCann was aware of the charges against him, she said, but has not yet entered pleas.

He was also brought to court on Wednesday, but refused to appear in the dock.

It is believed to be the first time a magistrates' court hearing has been held inside a prison.

The judge, lawyers, journalists, police officers and court staff, took taxis to Belmarsh, 15 miles away from Westminster Magistrates' Court.

I will be going into Belmarsh prison to see the defendant, Mr McCann. We will then have a hearing in there, which will be a private hearing, not in the presence of the press

Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot

A court crest was brought into Belmarsh in an Argos carrier bag.

Ms Arbuthnot told reporters: "I will be going into Belmarsh prison to see the defendant, Mr McCann.

"I will be accompanied by the prosecutor, defence counsel and obviously the clerk.

"We will then have a hearing in there, which will be a private hearing, not in the presence of the press."

McCann was arrested in a tree near Congleton, Cheshire, in the early hours of Monday morning.

He he is alleged to have abducted a woman in her twenties in Watford before raping her in her home.

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Two other women, in their twenties, were allegedly snatched off the street in Chingford and Edgware, London, on April 25 before being raped in a car.

McCann is also accused of other alleged offences in Lancashire and Greater Manchester on May 5, including the rape of a 71-year-old woman and the sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl.

He will appear at the Old Bailey on May 23.

Alleged serial rapist Joseph McCann visited by magistrate in prison after he refused to attend court to hear 21 charges3 McCann was arrested on Sunday night and was found hiding in a tree in a rural lane in Cheshire

 

Alleged serial rapist Joseph McCann visited by magistrate in prison after he refused to attend court to hear 21 charges3 McCann turned his back on today's makeshift court in Belmarsh Prison

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