Joseph McCann: Alleged serial rapist 'blamed attacks on police for failing to catch him'

13 November 2019, 13:07 | Updated: 13 November 2019, 20:07

An alleged serial rapist told a police officer "if you had caught me for the first two, the rest of this wouldn't have happened", a court has heard.

Joseph McCann, 34, from Harrow in northwest London, is accused of multiple rapes, kidnap and false imprisonment.

His 11 alleged victims are aged between 11 and 71.

On the second day of his trial, jurors were told he had refused to be interviewed after his arrest on 6 May and made the comment to an officer who accompanied him back to London.

Prosecutor John Price QC described his capture after he was first spotted on CCTV on 5 May - buying condoms at a petrol station on the Clayton Bypass in Greater Manchester.

The defendant had allegedly stolen a Fiat from a 71-year-old woman who had been kidnapped and raped earlier the same day.

A police officer - PC Michael Jennings - spotted the car at 6.49pm on the bypass and set off in pursuit.

Two 14-year-old girls, allegedly coerced into the car by the defendant the day before, were inside.

Mr Price told jurors: "By that time, there was intense police activity in the area, bearing in mind the 999 calls that had been received during that day.

"Reports of children being taken from the street, the police having the description of (the 71-year-old's) car. They were looking for that car."

The Fiat crashed into a Mercedes and the suspect fled on foot, leaving the girls behind, jurors heard.

Mr Price said: "They were shocked, very frightened and distressed but otherwise mercifully unharmed."

The accused ran past a man in his front garden who asked him if he was alright. He allegedly replied: "Shut the f*** up" before pedalling off on a mountain bike.

At about 8.15pm, McCann reportedly made two phone calls in a restaurant in Scholar Green, Cheshire. He was overheard asking to speak to "Charlene" before ordering a taxi, jurors heard.

The bicycle was abandoned outside the restaurant and the defendant is said to have been picked up by the taxi.

Police had set up roadblocks and the car was stopped on the A34 south of Congleton at 8.40pm.

Mr Price said by that point police had a name and description for the suspect and knew he had a distinctive tattoo on his stomach.

PC David Reed spoke to McCann, who was holding a pint glass and claimed he was returning home after drinking in pubs, the court heard.

When the officer asked to see his stomach, he replied: "No, you're not f****** seeing", before jumping out of the taxi and running into fields saying: "f*** you", jurors were told.

A police cordon was placed around the field and a police helicopter deployed.

Mr Price said: "Police found him. He had climbed a tree. A stand-off commenced.

"He was eventually brought down and at 2.36am on Monday 6th May he was arrested for offences of rape and abduction."

Police video captured the moment the defendant was arrested, with McCann claiming he had not abducted the girls and that they "wanted a lift", jurors were told.

Mr Price said the evidence against the defendant was "overwhelming".

The defendant denies all 37 charges against him.

The trial continues.