Herts Police - rape suspect is on prison recall

30 April 2019, 17:17 | Updated: 30 April 2019, 17:21

Joseph McCann 1

A suspected rapist wanted over the abduction of two women off the streets, who escaped in Watford; is a 34 year-old fugitive described by police as "extremely dangerous".

Joseph McCann, who is being hunted by Scotland Yard, is currently on recall to prison, Hertfordshire Police said in a public appeal last week.

Metropolitan Police officers warned on Tuesday he is known to use false names and may be using a disguise.

He is suspected of separately snatching two women in their 20s in north London on Thursday.

It is understood McCann was subject to a recall to prison for breaching the conditions of his licence before the women were attacked.

520pm update Tuesday 30th: A police reward of up to £20,000 has now been secured for information which leads to the arrest and prosecution of McCann in connection with the investigation.


McCann is believed to have been released on licence from prison in February 2017 for an aggravated burglary.

Bedford Today reported in 2008 that McCann, then aged 23, was sentenced to an indeterminate prison sentence for threatening to stab an 85-year-old man in his home.

It is unclear what McCann was alleged to have done to breach his licence conditions.

Police described McCann as being muscular, about 5ft 10in, and having a "distinctive" tattoo of the name "bobbie" on his stomach.

He is said to have blue eyes, a bald head or shaved blond hair with a light-coloured beard, and a "slight" Irish accent.

Officers said he has recently gone by the name of Joel and has links to Watford, north-west London, Aylesbury and Ipswich.

Detective Chief Inspector Katherine Goodwin said:

"We would ask anyone with any information about McCann's whereabouts to contact us immediately - McCann is considered extremely dangerous and a risk to the public and we ask people not to approach him, but instead call 999.

If you wish to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers. It is vitally important we trace him in connection with these offences.

My team continues to work around the clock and we are making progress in furthering the investigation."

Both women were raped after being snatched by the suspect in a silver or grey-coloured Ford S-Max people carrier with false registration plates.

The first woman was abducted at about 12.30am on Thursday from a street in Chingford, before the second was seized around 12 hours later at 12.15pm from a street in Edgware.

They were driven to a hotel where the suspect attempted to book a room at around 1pm.

They left when this was unavailable.

But the women managed to escape in Osborne Road, Watford, at about 2.30pm.

They were both "traumatised" by the ordeal and are receiving support from specialist officers, police said.

A 33 year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to rape, while the hunt for the rapist continues.

Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.