Joseph McCann launched rampage after being 'left without siblings'

Serial rapist Joseph McCann launched two-week rape-and-kidnap rampage in wake of being ‘left without the siblings who grounded him’ when one brother was jailed three years after other died

  • Joseph McCann abducted, raped and assaulted 11 victims aged between 11 – 71
  • Spree began five days after brother Michael was sentenced to 7 years in prison
  • Was 3 years after McCann’s brother Sean killed himself in Peterborough prison

Evil sex beast Joseph McCann launched a two-week rape-and-kidnap rampage after he was left without his siblings who kept him ‘grounded’.

Convicted burglar McCann – who had been freed after a probation service error – went on a cocaine and vodka-fuelled rampage starting on April 21.

He abducted, raped and assaulted 11 victims aged between 11 and 71 in Watford, London and the North West.

Evil sex beast Joseph McCann (left) launched a two-week rape-and-kidnap rampage after he was left without ‘the siblings who grounded him’. His older brother Sean, 32, (right) killed himself in Peterborough prison in 2016 while serving a two-year sentence for assault

His younger brother Michael was sentenced to seven years in prison for stealing handbags from vulnerable women and pensioners just five days before Joseph McCann’s rampage began

It has now been revealed that his spree began only five days after his younger brother Michael was sentenced to seven years in prison for stealing handbags from vulnerable women and pensioners, the Sun Online reports.

It was also three years after McCann was left bereft after his older brother Sean, 32, killed himself in Peterborough prison in 2016 while serving a two-year sentence for assault.

A source told the Sun Online that McCann’s siblings ‘keep him grounded’ and without them he ‘escalated like a loose cannon’.

McCann was yesterday found guilty of 37 charges relating to 11 victims, including eight rapes, false imprisonment and kidnap.

McCann, his elder brother Sean (centre, in red) and younger brother Michael (right, in blue) struck fear into residents in the 1990s

McCann, who is now facing a life sentence, changed his appearance and moved across five police force areas as he evaded police for 15 days despite telling his first victim his surname. 

Since his conviction, it can now be revealed that McCann spent his childhood stealing, setting fire to cars and terrorising his terrified neighbours.

So violent were he and his brothers that McCann became one of the first in Britain to be given an ASBO, aged just 14.

His rampage began three years after McCann was left bereft after his older brother Sean, 32, killed himself in Peterborough prison in 2016 while serving a two-year sentence for assault. Sean McCann is pictured (centre) in Manchester in 1999

The trio ran a campaign of intimidation on their impoverished Manchester estate during the 1990s. 

McCann grew up on the Beswick estate in Manchester, a deprived area of the city which has now been knocked down.

Born in 1985, the son of a Scottish builder and a mother with links to the traveller community, he grew up with a fierce temper and struggled to control his anger.

He and his brothers stole for sport and threatened anyone who got in their way.

At the age of 11 he had his first brush with the police and was convicted in 1998 for theft.

So prolific was the three boys’ stealing that when they were finally banned from the estate the following year, takings at the local shops increased by £14,000 a week.

Forced to moved from Beswick, they headed south to Aylesbury, in Buckinghamshire, and Middlesex where they linked up with their traveller relatives.

The brothers emerged from court defiant in 1999. Staring down the cameras, McCann (right) and his brothers, Sean, then 16 and Michael (left), 12, were pictured swearing and grinning

Former neighbours on a quiet estate in Wealdstone, Middlesex, recalled how they lived in fear of the McCanns who issued threats to anyone who challenged them.

‘They arrived overnight and brought havoc,’ one neighbour told MailOnline. ‘Everyone quickly got to know about the McCanns. They were awful.

‘Joseph and his brother were always stealing cars. They’d drive the cars around and then they’d burn them on our little green. The police would be around their house all the time.

‘One time they drove this van into the back garden. We called the police and they said it had been stolen about 15 minutes beforehand.’

How McCann was twice released from prison despite a judge finding he was ‘dangerous’ 

2008 – Joseph McCann threatened to stab an 85-year-old man in his home. He told the elderly man ‘give me money or I will knife you’ before taking his wallet and banking papers. He was jailed for an indeterminate term and told he cannot apply for parole for two and a half years.

Early 2017 – McCann is released on licence by the parole board.

Late 2017 – While on licence, he commits a burglary and is returned to prison on a three-year sentence.

February 2019 – McCann is wrongly released without having gone before the parole board. Instead, he is released automatically half way through his three-year jail term.

April and May 2019 – McCann goes on two-week rampage of rape, sexual assault and kidnap.

He added: ‘We heard that they had had to leave where they used to live because it became too hot for them.’

McCann was in and out of prison until 2008 when armed with a knife, he broke into the home of a frail 85-year-old man in Bedford. 

When McCann was jailed in 2008, his then girlfriend was pregnant with their second child. They already had a very young child.

Her name is believed to have been ‘Bobbie’ and it was this name which he had tattooed across his stomach.

McCann spent the next 11 years in prison before being released, jailed again in 2018 and then released earlier this year for his devastating two week attack.

It was a marked shift of brutality for a man who until this year has focused on carrying out violent burglaries.

After his years in and out of prison, the McCann family are believed to have finally moved out of Wealdstone for good some six or seven years ago.

Another neighbour said: ‘I breathed a sigh of relief when they did. They used to throw bricks at anyone.

‘There used to be a brick wall outside their house. But they took all the bricks out to throw them at people.

‘If you said anything to them they would threaten to beat you up. There were two older boys and one little one. They were really horrible.

‘The boys were always out in the street. There was no way of avoiding them. Everyone knew the McCanns. But there was nothing we could do.

‘They were part of a gang. Their house was like their headquarters.’

Two weeks of terror: How McCann drove around the country abducting and raping his victims 

Victim one, April 21 – McCann’s sickening attacks began when he snatched a 21-year-old woman as she walked home from Pryzm nightclub in Watford in the early hours.

After kidnapping her with a knife to her throat, he told her: ‘I don’t agree with hitting women’, before raping her in her own bed.

The victim was able to preserve DNA on a tissue and prosecutors said it was ‘one billion more times likely‘ to have come from McCann.

The woman reported the attack to police, McCann’s details were put on the Police National Computer and a prison recall was issued.

McCann using a drive-thru at McDonalds on April 25, while his victim was in his car

Victim two, April 25 – He abducted a 25-year-woman as she walked home from work in Walthamstow and subjected her to a 14-hour rape ordeal.

McCann told her he ‘wanted to make her rape a child’ when they were outside a school.

Victims three and four, April 25 – Hours after abducting the 25-year-old woman, who he was still holding captive, McCann was caught on CCTV bundling a 21-year-old into his car in north London, as her sister, 18, ran off screaming.

The 21-year-old was forced to perform sex acts on the 25-year-woman and was also raped.

The two captives escaped outside the Phoenix Lodge in Watford, after the 25-year-old woman hit McCann over the head with a vodka bottle. 

The Metropolitan Police circulated a CCTV image of McCann at the Phoenix Hotel and received a tip-off with his name following a public appeal.

McCann at the Phoenix Lodge Hotel in Watford on the afternoon of April 25, as he left two women, his alleged victims, in his car outside.

Victim five, six and seven, May 5 – McCann struck again after meeting a woman at a bar in Lancashire and going back to her home.

He tied the woman up with cable from her hairdryer. He then subjected her 17-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son to a horrific four hour sex ordeal where they were both raped.

The family’s ordeal came to an end when the girl jumped naked from a first floor bedroom and ran to her grandmother’s house to raise the alarm.

The 17-year-old said in a statement to police: ‘You know when you can see inside someone’s eyes and you know they are pure evil.’

Her distressing 999 call left jurors in tears and led the judge to offer them counselling half way through the trial.

McCann on a bus in Greater Manchester after attacking a family at their house

Victim eight, May 5 – After leaving the house in Lancashire, McCann then abducted a 71-year-old woman in the car park of a supermarket.

When she protested he punched her in the face and later sexually assaulted her in the car.

Victim nine, May 5 – Later that day, McCann abducted a 13-year-old girl.

He forced the pensioner, who was also in the car, to drive as he sexually assaulted the teenager.

Both the girl and the 71-year-old woman were able to escape at Knutsford service station.

Victims 10 and 11, May 5 – His final victims were two 14-year-old girls who crouched in terror on the back seat of his stolen car while being chased by police.

Roadblocks had been set up as police searched for McCann in a stolen Fiat Punto.

He was forced to flee on foot after crashing and abandoning the car and was captured on film running through the back gardens of homes in Cheshire pursued by police.

McCann hid in a tree and – despite being spotted by a police helicopter – refused to give up.

Footage released by the police showed McCann being captured by a specialist team after a four hour standoff.

He was shivering having worn a wet red T-shirt he had snatched from a clothesline while running between houses.

After his arrest he taunted police by saying if they had caught him after the first two rapes he would not have been able to continue with his assaults.

May 6 – A police helicopter finally locates him up a tree, he was coaxed down and arrested.

McCann looking into a Fiat car as he buys petrol and a pack of Durex condoms at a Shell garage with two 14-year-old girls allegedly in the car


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