Court hears how suspected rapist taunted police for not catching him earlier

A serial rapist taunted police after his arrest, telling an officer: “If you had caught me for the first two, the rest of this wouldn’t have happened,” a court heard.

Joseph McCann, 34, is accused of embarking on a two-week rampage of “violence and depravity,” snatching victims off the street before sexually assaulting them.

Among his 11 victims were a 71-year-old woman snatched from a supermarket car park, a brother and sister aged 17 and 11 who were sexually assaulted in their own home, and a 21-year-old driven to her home at knifepoint and raped. John Price QC, prosecuting, told the Old Bailey yesterday that when McCann was arrested in May this year he told police some of his horrific crimes could have been prevented if he had been caught earlier.

McCann, described as a “skinhead,” wore a wig while he raped his first victim, the court heard. The 21-year-old, who McCann allegedly forced into his car at knifepoint in the early hours of April 21 while she walked home from Pryzm nightclub in Watford, told police she was too frightened to stay at her flat after she was raped in her own bedroom. The mother-of-one said her attacker, who held a knife to her throat and said he had a gun, claimed his behaviour was “normal in the traveller community” as he shoved her on to her bed and raped her.

“He kept saying I was a beautiful girl, then he pushed me on to the bed and pulled my dress up,” she said. “He was on top of me and I just froze.”