Victim hit 'serial rapist' Joseph McCann over head with vodka bottle to end 14-hour ordeal

15 November 2019, 22:18

Joseph McCann was hit over the head with a vodka bottle by one of his victims, a court has been told
Joseph McCann was hit over the head with a vodka bottle by one of his victims, a court has been told. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

A young woman said she used "logic" rather than "courage" when she smashed a vodka bottle over her alleged rapist's head, The Old Bailey has heard.

The 25-year-old was allegedly snatched by Joseph McCann just after midnight on April 25 as she walked home in Walthamstow, east London, and repeatedly raped.

McCann, 34, then forced her to sit in the car as he drove through a McDonald's drive-thru, before kidnapping a second woman in Edware, north London, jurors were told.

After grabbing his second victim, he then threatened to "slit her throat" and assaulted her.

Jurors were shown CCTV footage of McCann stopping at a McDonald's drive through restaurant to get food shortly before.

In a videoed police interview, the first victim said: "When he snatched the other girl, I was eating the food and he told me to keep eating it so I don't think it was very far.

"Sometimes he would make me sit in the footwell with my head on the passenger seat. Sometimes in the passenger seat with my head down."

She went on: "He was driving around really fast and he had his hand on her head and he was driving like crazy. He threatened her and hit her as well.

"He said that he would slit her throat or that he would drown her or both of us."

The women managed to escape and run towards builders near the Phoenix Lodge hotel in Watford, Hertfordshire, the court heard.

McCann is currently accused of raping 11 people between the ages of 11 and 71
McCann is currently accused of raping 11 people between the ages of 11 and 71. Picture: PA

Giving evidence, the woman told jurors: "It was not about courage. It was about logic, the best time to incapacitate him."

The 25-year-old woman told the court McCann had said: "I'm going to put my arms round you and you need to smile", before ordering both women out of the car at the hotel.

Instead, the woman grabbed a vodka bottle and hit him over the head, she said.

McCann reacted angrily, saying: "What the f***," jurors heard.

The witness said: "I saw it smash and he turned round and looked at me and was shouting and I dropped the stuff and ran up the road towards the builders shouting for help and saying we had been kidnapped.

"I ran up to one of them and said 'I need your phone, I need your phone' but he didn't understand me.

He threatened his victims
He threatened his victims. Picture: PA

"I ran up the road and a man said 'come in here' and I went into the shop.

"As soon as I got into the shop, I started just crying and I could not believe that I was in there.

"I turned round to look out and I saw the car drive away. I thought that meant he had driven away with her so I told them she was there.

"I looked down and was bleeding and there was lots of people there and they were saying 'don't worry you are safe' and there is people that will protect me.

"The next thing I remember is the other girl coming in."

She told police her attacker was white with blue eyes and had a "weird" Irish accent.

He wore a white rosary and had tattoos, including one that said "bobbie", she said.

She said at one point a man had called him John, but he allegedly told her: "Don't worry, that's not my real name. If that was my real name I would have to kill you both."

Under cross-examination, Jo Sidhu QC suggested on McCann's behalf that both women had got into McCann's car "willingly" and engaged in consensual sex.

The witness repeatedly denied it, saying she was terrified of McCann and "always waiting to raise the alarm".

Later, jurors watched a video of a police interview with the woman who was allegedly abducted in Edgware.

She told an officer: "He said he had killed people before. He said if we tried to report him to the police he had contacts in the police - he said he had gang members who would hunt us down separately.

"He tried to make it seem that he was a high up, important person."

The woman said that most of the time they were driving, McCann made her kneel on the floor in the back of the car with her head on the back seat.

She said: "He kept repeating himself a lot, he was quite slurred. He was driving really fast so I got knocked around quite a lot."

McCann, from Harrow, west London, denies 37 charges relating to 11 women and children including rape, false imprisonment and kidnap.

The trial continues...