Joseph McCann: Judge visits serial rape accused in jail

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Met Police

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Joseph McCann is due to appear at the Old Bailey on 23 May

A man accused of 21 offences including eight rapes has been visited by a judge in prison after refusing to appear in court.

Joseph McCann, of Aylesbury, is charged with the kidnap and rape of eight alleged victims aged between 11 and 71.

The offences are alleged to have been committed between 20 April and 5 May, in London, Watford, Cheshire, Manchester and Lancashire.

Mr McCann was arrested in Congleton in Cheshire following a police manhunt.

The 34-year-old is accused of eight rapes, four kidnappings, two charges of false imprisonment and one of actual bodily harm, as well as six other sexual offences.

Nine of the charges relate to offences allegedly committed on the same day.

Mr McCann had refused to leave his cell at Belmarsh prison in south London to attend Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

Chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot said a hearing would instead be held in the visitors’ room at Belmarsh.

‘Unprecedented’

Journalists at the jail were not allowed into the hearing but were given details afterwards.

Ms Arbuthnot said Mr McCann “turned his back on the court to begin with” and he did not sit or give his name.

He is said to have health issues which are being investigated.

The BBC’s home affairs correspondent, June Kelly, said it was “believed to be an unprecedented first appearance by a defendant in a criminal case”.

Earlier, prosecutor Tetteh Turkson told Westminster Magistrates’ Court Mr McCann was “not being co-operative”.

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

In one alleged incident, Mr McCann is said by police to have tied a woman up and committed sexual offences, including rape, against her 17-year-old daughter and son, 11.

He was arrested just over two weeks after he allegedly abducted a woman in her 20s in Watford before raping her.

Two other women in their 20s were also allegedly snatched off the street in Chingford and Edgware on 25 April and then raped.

Mr McCann is due to appear at the Old Bailey on 23 May.

Joseph McCann is accused of 21 offences:

  • Kidnap (20-23 April)
  • Rape of a woman 16 years of age or over (20-23 April)
  • Kidnap – (24-27 April)
  • False imprisonment (24-27 April)
  • Rape of a woman 16 years of age or over (24-27 April)
  • Rape of a woman 16 years of age or over (24-27 April)
  • Rape of a woman 16 years of age or over (24-27 April)
  • Cause a female 13 or over to engage in a non-penetrative sexual activity (24-27 April)
  • Kidnap (24-27 April)
  • Rape of a woman 16 years of age or over (24-27 April)
  • Assault of a female 13 and over by penetration with part of body / a thing (24-27 April)
  • Cause a female 13 or over to engage in a non penetrative sexual activity (24-27 April)
  • False imprisonment (5 May)
  • Assault a person thereby occasioning them actual bodily harm (5 May)
  • Rape of a woman 16 years of age or over (5 May)
  • Assault a female 13 and over by penetration with part of body / a thing (5 May)
  • Rape of a boy under 13 (5 May)
  • Cause / incite a boy under 13 to engage in sexual activity – penetration (5 May)
  • Kidnap (5 May)
  • Rape of a woman 16 years of age or over (5 May)
  • Engage in non penetrative sexual activity with girl 13 to 15 (5 May)

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