Joseph McCann, 34, gets 33 life sentences with a minimum term of 30 years after being found guilty of a series of rape committed over two weeks in April and May of this year.
Mr. Justice Edis, the judge, said: “This was a campaign of rape, violence and abduction.” He also said that McCann had “never expressed a word of regret” during his trial. McCann raped eight people including a 11 year-old boy and a lady aged 71.
The 37 charges against him included seven counts of rape and kidnap as well as one count of child rape. It has been reported that on arrest McCann had told the officers: “If you had caught me for the first two, the rest of this wouldn’t have happened.”
Prosecution lauded the bravery of the victims for coming forward and helping others escape McCann. The prosecution termed McCann a ‘classic psychopath’, ‘violent’, ‘bully’, ‘dangerous’ and a ‘paedophile.’ Four of McCann’s victims were children—three girls and one boy—and under the age of 15.
Judge Edis, called McCann a ‘coward’ as he refused to appear at court for the duration of the trial and said: “you have been unable to face your victims and chosen to hide in your cell.” He also said that McCann is a “threat to children” and “his grip on reality is quite tenuous.”
One of the victim’s statements was read out to the court, where she gave a detailed account of her PTSD, flashback, physical pain and emotional distress. In the statement, the victim said: “I used to be a very independent person” and “I feel isolated from my friends and peers”. She also said that the incident has given her nightmares, affected her personal life and those of her loved ones as well as taken away her aspirations.
McCann’s first attack took place on 21st April, three days after meeting with the probation officers. The court heard a statement from probation officer Michael Eastwood that McCann was upset about getting warned for failing to inform the board about his intimate relationship with a lady as per the terms of his license due to his violent history. The judge also called for a systematic investigation into ‘how the system failed to protect the victims.’
The defendant has been convicted twice before for aggravated burglary. However, he had been ‘freed by mistake.’ McCann was charged in 2008 and after serving the minimum time of 30 months was released in 2017. He was again convicted of burglary in 2017, just a few months after release. But instead of getting a recall for violating the terms of his license, McCann was given a new sentence, which enabled him to leave after serving minimum term without any intervention from the parole board.
One bystander present in the court hearing said: “I am happy that he is going away for a long time. I hope the victims find some solace in this.”