EXCLUSIVE: Life of crime from 11 – Serial rapist Joseph McCann spent childhood stealing, setting fire to cars and terrorising neighbours as he became one of first in Britain to be given an ASBO aged 14
- Joseph McCann spent boyhood stealing, fighting and terrorising neighbourhood
- First brush with police came at 11 and then convicted two years later
- Judge in Manchester issued him with one of the country’s first ASBOs in 1999
- He and his brothers were banned from impoverished estate where they grew up
- Former neighbours recalled: ‘The McCanns were absolutely vile’
Joseph McCann is pictured in Manchester in 1999 after he became among of the first in Britain to be given an Asbo, aged just 14
Evil sex beast Joseph McCann spent his childhood stealing, setting fire to cars and terrorising his terrified neighbours.
So violent were he and his brothers that he became one of the first in Britain to be given an ASBO, aged just 14.
The trio ran a campaign of intimidation on their impoverished Manchester estate during the 1990s.
Details of McCann’s criminal past can be reported for the first time today after he was found guilty of 37 charges relating to 11 victims, including eight rapes, false imprisonment and kidnap.
The convicted burglar, who had been freed after a probation service error, went on a cocaine and vodka-fuelled rampage, abducting, raping and assaulting victims aged between 11 and 71 in Watford, London and the North West.
McCann, who is now facing a life sentence, changed his appearance and moved across five police force areas as he evaded police for 15 days despite telling his first victim his surname.
McCann, his elder brother Sean (centre, in red) and younger brother Michael (right, in blue) struck fear into residents in the 1990s. They are pictured in Manchester in 1999
But McCann, his elder brother Sean and younger brother Michael have been striking fear into locals for years.
One told MailOnline: ‘They were a horrible family, absolutely vile – scum of the earth.’
McCann is a convicted burglar who had been freed after a probation service error
The brothers became notorious in 1999 when they were given the first ASBOs and emerged from court defiant.
Staring down the cameras, McCann and his brothers, Sean then 16 and Michael, 12, were seen swearing and grinning.
McCann grew up on the Beswick estate in Manchester, a deprived area of the city which has now been knocked down.
Born in 1985, the son of Richard, a Scottish builder and Margaret, a mother with links to the traveller community, he grew up with a fierce temper and struggled to control his anger.
He and his brothers stole for sport and threatened anyone who got in their way.
At the age of 11 he had his first brush with the police and was convicted in 1998 for theft.
The brothers became notorious in 1999 when they were given the first ASBOs and emerged from court defiant. Staring down the cameras, McCann (right) and his brothers, Sean then 16 and Michael (left), 12, were seen swearing and grinning
So prolific was the three boys stealing that when they were finally banned from the estate the following year, takings at the local shops increased by £14,000 a week.
How McCann was twice released from prison despite a judge finding he was ‘dangerous’
2008 – Joseph McCann threatened to stab an 85-year-old man in his home. He told the elderly man ‘give me money or I will knife you’ before taking his wallet and banking papers. He was jailed for an indeterminate term and told he cannot apply for parole for two and a half years.
Early 2017 – McCann is released on licence by the parole board.
Late 2017 – While on licence, he commits a burglary and is returned to prison on a three-year sentence.
February 2019 – McCann is wrongly released without having gone before the parole board. Instead, he is released automatically half way through his three-year jail term.
April and May 2019 – McCann goes on two-week rampage of rape, sexual assault and kidnap.
Forced to moved from Beswick, they headed south to Aylesbury, in Buckinghamshire, and Middlesex where they linked up with their traveller relatives.
Former neighbours on a quiet estate in Wealdstone, Middlesex, recalled how they lived in fear of the McCanns who issued threats to anyone who challenged them.
‘They arrived overnight and brought havoc,’ one neighbour told MailOnline. ‘Everyone quickly got to know about the McCanns. They were awful.
‘Joseph and his brother were always stealing cars. They’d drive the cars around and then they’d burn them on our little green. The police would be around their house all the time.
‘One time they drove this van into the back garden. We called the police and they said it had been stolen about 15 minutes beforehand.’
He added: ‘We heard that they had had to leave where they used to live because it became too hot for them.’
McCann was in and out of prison until 2008 when armed with a knife, he broke into the home of a frail 85-year-old man in Bedford.
So prolific was the three boys stealing that when they were finally banned from the estate the following year, takings at the local shops increased by £14,000 a week
Forced to moved from Beswick, they headed south. Former neighbours on a quiet estate in Wealdstone, Middlesex, recalled how they lived in fear of the McCanns who issued threats to anyone who challenged them. Above, the family home
‘They arrived overnight and brought havoc,’ one neighbour told MailOnline. ‘Everyone quickly got to know about the McCanns. They were awful. Pictured: McCann earlier this year
The pensioner was watching TV when McCann burst in through a sidedoor and threatened to stab the pensioner before stealing several items.
Probation worker sacked after McCann recall shambles
The head of HM Prisons and Probation Service, has apologised ‘unreservedly’ for failings in the Joseph McCann case.
The Ministry of Justice launched an inquiry into why McCann was not recalled to prison after committing a burglary following his release from an indeterminate sentence for aggravated burglary.
Four probation officers from the Watford office faced a disciplinary, the BBC reported today, one of whom was demoted.
In a separate investigation, another worker was sacked and another had their contract terminated.
Chief executive Jo Farrar said today: ‘We recognise that there were failings and we apologise unreservedly for our part in this. We are committed to doing everything we possibly can to learn from this terrible case.
‘We have taken strong and immediate action against those involved in the management of McCann’s case and are taking significant steps to improve intelligence sharing between agencies.
‘At the same time, we are developing new mandatory training on recall for all probation officers and we have updated guidance on the threshold for recalling an offender to prison.’
When McCann was jailed in 2008, his then girlfriend was pregnant with their second child. They already had a very young child.
Her name is believed to have been ‘Bobbie’ and it was this name which he had tattooed across his stomach.
McCann spent the next 11 years in prison before being released, jailed again in 2018 and then released earlier this year for his devastating two week attack.
It was a marked shift of brutality for a man who until this year has focused pn carrying out violent burglaries.
After his years in and out of prison, the McCann family are believed to have finally moved out of Wealdstone for good some six or seven years ago.
Another neighbour said: ‘I breathed a sigh of relief when they did. They used to throw bricks at anyone.
‘There used to be a brick wall outside their house. But they took all the bricks out to throw them at people.
‘If you said anything to them they would threaten to beat you up. There were two older boys and one little one. They were really horrible.
‘The boys were always out in the street. There was no way of avoiding them. Everyone knew the McCanns. But there was nothing we could do.
‘They were part of a gang. Their house was like their headquarters.’
Always close to his brothers, McCann was left bereft after Sean, 32, committed suicide in Peterborough prison in 2016 while serving a two-year sentence for assault.
Today, McCann’s parents live in a modest semi-detached bungalow on the outskirts of Aylesbury.
After his years in and out of prison, the McCann family are believed to have finally moved out of Wealdstone some six or seven years ago. Another neighbour said: ‘I breathed a sigh of relief when they did. They used to throw bricks at anyone’
His father, Richard McCann, drives a 2019-plate 4×4 Ford Kuga car which is often parked on a driveway by the front door.
A sign on the wall warns visitors; ‘Beware of the wife.’
Part of a trailer lies on the driveway while a mobile home is parked in the garden behind a high wooden fence.
The semi-detached property is guarded by security cameras.
Moment police finally caught Britain’s most dangerous rapist Joseph McCann hiding in a TREE after a two week manhunt
This is the dramatic moment police finally caught serial sex attacker Joseph McCann after they found him hiding in a tree.
Hundreds of officers were deployed in the manhunt for McCann, 34, for over two weeks before he was arrested early on May 6 in the Cheshire town of Congleton.
It came just hours after he forced two 14-year-old girls into a car and kidnapped them, but police spotted him and he crashed and fled following a short pursuit.
Footage released by police shows McCann’s arrest after he hid up a tree after going on the run. He was arrested in the early hours of May 6 in the Cheshire town of Congleton
McCann ran away, leaving the terrified friends uninjured, but was spotted in a taxi before fleeing once again across fields – and was found up the tree an hour later.
Police arrested McCann at about 3am following a negotiation after he was found up a tree near Smithy Lane, two miles outside Congleton.
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