“Classic psychopath” Joseph McCann has been given 33 life sentences and will serve a minimum of 30 years behind bars after attacking 11 victims in a “brutal campaign of rape”.
In spring this year the 34-year-old embarked on a 15-day cocaine and vodka-fuelled rampage in which he abducted, raped and assaulted victims aged between 11 and 71.
A convicted burglar, McCann had been released due to a probation service error two months before.
He allegedly used a “support network” across the country to evade police, despite being identified as a suspect after snatching and raping his first victim in Watford on April 21.
Four days later he abducted a 25-year-woman in Walthamstow, and subjected her to a 14-hour rape ordeal.
He then took another young woman hours later. The victims escaped after the 25-year-old hit McCann over the head with a vodka bottle.
On May 5, he tricked his way into the home of a woman he met in a bar in Greater Manchester, tied her up and molested her children, aged 17 and 11. The teenage girl jumped out of a first-floor window to alert police.
Later that day, McCann raped a 71-year-old woman and abducted and assaulted a 13-year-old girl in her car, before they got away.
As police closed in, McCann forced two 14-year-old girls into the car by threatening to “chop them up” with a machete.
However, he was spotted by a patrol car, which gave chase – McCann crashed into a Mercedes and fled on foot, leaving the “terrified” girls behind.
A police helicopter finally located him up a tree, he was coaxed down and arrested early on May 6.
The defence claimed that he and the victims had had consensual sex, but that was dismissed as “ludicrous”.
On Friday, the jury deliberated for five hours to find him guilty of 37 charges, including eight rapes, false imprisonment and kidnap.
Sentencing Mr Justice Edis today described McCann as a “classic psychopath” as he issued the 33 life sentences.
The judge said: “This was a campaign of rape, violence and abduction of a kind which I have never seen or heard of before.
“Joseph McCann, you are very dangerous indeed to people who are weaker than you are.
“Among other things you are a coward and violent bully and a paedophile.
“Your grip on reality is quite tenuous, your instructions to lawyers were utterly ridiculous.”
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