Man accused of serial rape forced mother to listen to him raping daughter, 17, and son, 11, court hears

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Joseph McCann is accused of a strong of sexual assault offences (SWNS)
  • Joseph McCann accused of multiple counts of rape and abduction

  • Victims aged between 11 and 17 allegedly linked to McCann

  • McCann accused of raping victims during two-week rampage

  • Suspect told police: “If you caught me for the first two, the rest would not have happened”

  • McCann stole mountain bike and climbed a tree in a desperate bid to evade police 

A court heard today how a man accused of a string of violent sexual assaults forced a mother to listen to him raping her two children at their home.

Joseph McCann is said to have tied the woman up with electrical cable after he met her at a bar in Haslingden, Greater Manchester.

The Old Bailey heard how McCann woke the woman’s 17-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son in the next room as he raped them, forcing each child to watch the abuse as their mother listened next door.

The family managed to escape when the daughter jumped naked from a window before running to a neighbour's house to call the police.

Related: Woman Says She ‘Saw Alleged Rapist Jumping Fence'

As police attempted to track McCann down, he reportedly stole a mountain bike and climbed a tree in a desperate bid to evade police.

The serial rape suspect was allegedly caught with two 14-year-old girls in the back of a car and attempted to hide to avoid being arrested, jurors have heard.

major investigation was sparked spanning from London to the North West after a string of women and children were abducted and sexually assaulted over three days in the spring.

McCann, 34, from Harrow, west London, is on trial at the Old Bailey accused of 37 rape charges relating to 11 alleged victims aged between 11 and 71.

After he was arrested, McCann allegedly told a police officer: "If you had caught me for the first two, the rest of this wouldn't have happened.”

After he was arrested, McCann allegedly told a police officer: "If you had caught me for the first two, the rest of this wouldn't have happened" (SWNS)

On the second day of his trial, prosecutor John Price QC gave an account of the dramatic events leading to McCann's arrest on May 6.

He told the court of how the net began to close after two 14-year-old girls were allegedly coerced into a Fiat car driven by the defendant the day before.

At 6.44pm he was captured on CCTV buying condoms at a Shell Petrol station on the Clayton Bypass just a few miles away in the Greater Manchester area.

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Meanwhile, the girls were in the Fiat, which the defendant had allegedly taken from a 71-year-old woman who had been kidnapped and raped earlier that day.

At 6.49pm Pc Michael Jennings spotted the Fiat at a roundabout at the bypass and set off in pursuit, recording it on his dashcam.

The Fiat crashed into a Mercedes car and the suspect fled on foot, leaving the two girls behind, jurors heard.

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of a prison guard sitting next to an empty chair at HMP Belmarsh after McCann refused to attend an earlier plea hearing (PA)

Police eventually found McCann up a tree before he was arrested.

In response to being cautioned, McCann said: "Possible abduction", the court heard.

When it was explained it was "because of the kids in the car", he told officers: "I did not abduct them. Those two girls wanted a lift", the court heard.

McCann allegedly told a police officer: "If you had caught me for the first two, the rest of this wouldn't have happened.”

Not guilty pleas have been entered on all the charges relating to the 11 women and children.

McCann, who is not in the dock, 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.