Probation service missed 'eight occasions' to recall horrific serial rapist Joseph McCann before rampage, report states

Joseph McCann, who lived just yards from an Aylesbury School was sentenced to 33 life sentences after a string of horrific rapes across the UK last year.

By Thomas Bamford
Monday, 9th March 2020, 9:41 am

A report has been released this week that shows the probation service missed the opportunity to recall McCann to prison eight times, before his vile rampage.

On 6 December 2019 Joseph McCann was given 33 life sentences at the Old Bailey for a series of violent sexual attacks which he committed between 21 April and 6 May last year.

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Serial rapist Joseph McCann

When he started his attacks, McCann was being supervised on licence by the National Probation Service (NPS), having been released from prison automatically on 15 February.

McCann had been given an indeterminate sentence for public protection (IPP) in 2008 after admitting breaking into and burgling the home of an 85-year-old man.

Following his release on licence in 2017, McCann committed the second burglary and should have been recalled to prison.

At a Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) meeting in 2011, the Police shared information which dated back to 2003 suggesting Joseph McCann might pose a risk of sexual harm and exploitation to teenage girls.

However he was released, and over 15 days, he abducted, raped and assaulted victims aged between 11 and 71 in Watford, London and the North West.

The prohibition officer involved said Joseph McCann had attended the Watford probation office, where officers warned him because he had failed to disclose to a new girlfriend the terms of his license - that he had previously been convicted of domestic violence.

McCann was ‘not happy’ about it and when his new fiance’s parents found out about the condition, they broke off the relationship because they thought he was a sex offender.

The report published this week suggests probation officers made “repeated failures” in not ordering serial rapist Joseph McCann to return to prison ahead of his sex assault rampage.

A serious further offence review carried out by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) suggested the "most significant" issue was the "repeated failure to recall Joseph McCann or to reflect critically on earlier decisions not to recall him, in the face of both court and prison staff communicating their concerns.

“From the point where McCann was arrested for burglary in 2017 to the point of his release, there were eight occasions where recall was considered or the recall decision was questioned."

Given the very widespread concern which this case raised, the Lord Chancellor considered that a version of the SFO review should be made public.

The report goes on to say: "“If the probation service had recalled McCann he would not have been released until the Parole Board was satisfied his release could be managed in the community.”

The report paints a picture of chaos in our National Probation Service.

The service responsible in McCann's instance, the South East and Eastern National Probation Service (NPS) was one of 21 across the U.K which 'required improvement' when it was inspected in May during 2019.

The Attorney General has referred McCann's sentence to the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme.

This hearing will take place on March 25.