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Joseph McCann

Joseph McCann

Joseph McCann

An Irish rapist described as a “classic psychopath” has had his minimum jail terms increased by the Court of Appeal in the UK.

Joseph McCann (35) was given 33 life sentences at the Old Bailey last December for a string of sex attacks on 11 women and children during a 15-day cocaine and vodka-fuelled rampage.

McCann carried out the attacks in London, Watford and the North West in April and May 2019, two months after the convicted burglar was wrongly freed from prison following “major failings” by probation staff.

McCann was born in London to an Irish mother and moved between Ireland and England as a child.

He was found guilty last December of 37 charges relating to his 11 victims, aged between 11 and 71, and was described by sentencing judge Mr Justice Edis as a “classic psychopath”.

McCann began his reign of terror when he kidnapped and raped a 21-year-old woman walking home from Pryzm nightclub in Watford.

Four days later, McCann abducted two women from Walthamstow and Edgware.

A 25-year-old woman was kidnapped just a few metres from her home in Walthamstow after midnight on April 25.

Over the next 14 hours, McCann raped her repeatedly, driving her to different parts of north London and into Epping Forest.

McCann then forced a 21-year-old woman into his car in Edgware.

The women managed to escape after he tried to book a hotel room in Watford and the 25-year-old hit McCann over the head with a vodka bottle.

The Attorney General’s Office referred the 30-year minimum jail terms handed to McCann to the Court of Appeal as “unduly lenient” earlier this year.

At a hearing in London in October, Solicitor General Michael Ellis QC argued that he should either have been given whole life terms or longer minimum terms for their crimes, which he said were among “some of the worst and most violent that this country has ever witnessed”.

A panel of five judges refused to impose whole life terms on McCann, but increased his minimum sentences to 40 years.

The Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett said: “The offending in the case of McCann was very serious indeed though it is, does not, in our judgment, call for either to receive a whole life tariff.

“This is not to minimise the seriousness of their offending but instead to ensure that the most severe sentence in our jurisdiction is reserved, save exceptionally, either for the most serious cases involving loss of life, or when a substantive plan to murder of similar seriousness is interrupted close to fulfilment.”

Lord Burnett said that in the collective experience of the senior judges who heard the case, McCann’s crimes are some of the most serious offences of rape to have been tried within England and Wales.

He added: “He has not shown any remorse and the long-term psychological damage for at least some of the victims in both trials is profound and will only be understood in the years to come.”

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