Joseph McCann: Hero schoolboy 'tried to stop serial rapist'

Joseph McCann is on trial over 37 charges relating to 11 alleged victims (PA)
Joseph McCann is on trial over 37 charges relating to 11 alleged victims (PA)


A teenager told police officers he and his friend attempted to fight off an alleged serial rapist who had apparently kidnapped a girl, a court heard.

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The schoolboy - who cannot be named because of his age - told detectives he was stopped by suspect Joseph McCann while he was walking with one male friend and one female friend of a similar age in Greater Manchester.

ln a recorded video interview, the boy said 34-year-old McCann was drinking from a bottle of wine in a car before accusing the three of bullying his sister and ordering them into the vehicle.

The Old Bailey heard a woman, who McCann said was his grandmother, was in the front of the car at the time.

The trial previously heard the woman was a 71-year-old shopper who was punched in the face by McCann before being kidnapped and sexually assaulted in her car.

McCann, from Harrow, north-west London, is accused of abducting, raping and holding prisoner a string of girls and women aged 11 to 71 across London, Hertfordshire and the North West between April 20 and May 5.

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The boy said: “This guy stopped us, he said, ‘Which one of you was calling my sister names and making threats to her?’

“We said, ‘We haven’t, it was not us’. He told us to get into the car.”

The boy said McCann then told the boys to “hop out” and wait on the pavement “for five minutes”, with the female friend remaining in the back seat of the car.

The witness said McCann told them he would stab them if they reported the incident to police.

“He said he was keeping her (the girl) hostage, then he drove off at 50mph with his ‘grandma’,” the boy added.

“(The girl) was just crying. We asked her if she was okay. We tried to get her out. My (male) friend was trying to get the guy off her, for at least two minutes.”

The boys then raised the alarm at a nearby shop.

McCann, who is not in the dock, is on trial at the Old Bailey having denied 37 charges relating to 11 alleged victims.

He is charged with 10 counts of false imprisonment, seven counts of rape, one count of rape of a child, two counts of causing or inciting a person to engage in sexual activity without consent, seven counts of kidnap, one count of attempted kidnap, three counts of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, three counts of assault by penetration, one count of sexual assault and two counts of committing a sexual offence with intent.

The trial continues.

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