Rape suspect Joseph McCann snatched women off the street before assaulting them in his car, court told

Verity Bowman

An alleged rapist snatched women off the street before assaulting them in his car during a series of "shocking and depraved" sex attacks on women and children, a court has heard.

Joseph McCann, 34, is accused of 37 charges including multiple rapes, kidnap and false imprisonment involving 11 victims, one as young as 11 years old, over three days in April and May.

The Old Bailey trial heard how one alleged victim was snatched as she walked home in Walthamstow, east London, just after midnight on April 25.

John Price QC said to Jurors that McCann told the 25-year-old “to stop screaming or he would stab her”. 

"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.

"On occasions he said he would put her in the canal to wash his DNA off her. At other times he said he would take her away to Europe and never release her."

Just 12 hours after the first alleged attack, while still holding the 25-year-old prisoner, McCann allegedly abducted a 21-year-old woman in Edgware, north London. 

Jurors were shown CCTV footage of the alleged abduction. The victim’s younger sister can be seen running home screaming as the 21-year-old was bundled into a silver Ford S Max car.  She could be heard weeping as her mother explained what happened in a 999 call.

The two women managed to escape in Watford after the 25-year-old hit McCann over the head with a vodka bottle, jurors heard.

Mr Price said they were not the first victims, the defendant having struck in Watford a couple of days before on Sunday, April 21. A 21-year-old woman was snatched at knifepoint as she walked from a nightclub, the court heard.

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.