Alleged rapist’s sick 12 victim rampage
A suspected serial rapist, who has been linked to 12 separate sex attacks and abductions in England over a period of days, was arrested in the early hours of Monday morning.
After Joseph McCann was arrested for the abduction and rape of three women in and around London, police revealed he had also been linked to attacks on nine further victims.
The final nine were attacked during what police described as a "grotesque and horrifying" rampage that spanned more than 10 hours on Sunday.
During those hours, McCann, 34, allegedly committed a series of rapes, sexual assaults and abductions, with the ages of both male and female victims ranging from 11 to 71.
Authorities had been searching for McCann following the abduction and rape of a 21-year-old woman at knifepoint in Watford on April 21.
On April 25 McCann was named as a suspect, after two more women, aged in their 20s, being abducted and raped in north London that same day.
They managed to escape by hitting McCann with a vodka bottle when he tried to transport them to Watford.
Now there are nine other attacks police are investigating in relation to McCann - which all occured on Sunday.
On Sunday morning a woman in her 30s was abducted in Lancashire. A teenage girl and 11-year-old boy were raped in the same incident.
Five hours later a 71-year-old woman was abducted and raped in Greater Manchester.
Two hours later, two boys and a girl, all aged 13, were abducted, with the girl sexually assaulted.
McCann was eventually arrested in Cheshire after allegedly abducting two 14-year-old girls on Sunday night.
The girls managed to escape unharmed after McCann crashed the vehicle they were in while being chased by police.
The suspect then tried to flee by jumping into a taxi and ordering the driver to speed off.
But the cabbie realised who McCann was and handed him over to the police.
"I recognised it was him after reading the news earlier in the day," the driver said, according to The Sun.
"He threatened me not to go a certain way and kept saying don't stop.
"But on purpose I drove the way on the A34 and he didn't know were I was going. I passed an accident on the A34 that I heard about hoping to spot police."
The taxi driver eventually spotted a police officer and flagged him down by flashing his lights.
McCann punched the driver in the face when he pulled over and assaulted the officer before running off into a field and climbing a tree.
There was a stand-off with police until around 3am when he finally surrendered.
Police confirmed he was being investigated for offences committed in "Cheshire, Manchester and Lancashire in addition to London and Hertfordshire", Detective Chief Inspector Katherine Goodwin told the media.
"These attacks were grotesque and horrifying. These victims are now being supported by specialist officers. Further details concerning specific offences will become clearer in due course," she said.
The police appealed for any other victims or anyone who had come into contact with McCann to come forward.
McCann was known to police before these attacks. In 2008, he was jailed indefinitely, with a minimum of 30 months, for a burglary in Bedfordshire during which he threatened an 85-year-old man with a knife.
He was released on licence in 2017 but had been recalled for breaching his parole terms.
An inquiry has been launched to determine whether McCann was released from prison by mistake.