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Fugitive Joseph McCann wanted ‘over suspected abduction of two more women’

Road checks in and out of the town are taking place amid a large police presence in the area.

Joseph McCann (Met Police/PA)
Joseph McCann (Met Police/PA)

Fugitive Joseph McCann, who is being hunted for the abduction and “horrific” rapes of three women, is also wanted in connection with the abduction of two more women on Sunday, police said.

A fresh manhunt is under way for the “extremely dangerous” 34-year-old after the women were forced into a black Fiat Punto in Congleton town centre, Cheshire, at around 6.45pm.

The vehicle made off after it was spotted and pursued by officers, before it hit another car and the driver fled, leaving the victims unhurt but “extremely shaken” inside, Cheshire Constabulary said.

Road checks in and out of the town are taking place amid a large police presence in the area.

Scotland Yard detectives previously launched a hunt for the suspected rapist and kidnapper after he allegedly snatched two women in their 20s off the streets in north London on April 25 in separate incidents.

He is also suspected of abducting a 21-year-old woman at knifepoint in Watford in the early hours of April 21 and raping her.

Officers believe McCann was being hidden by a friend or family member.

He is described as being muscular, about 5ft 10ins, and he has 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.

The Ministry of Justice launched an urgent review after it emerged McCann may have been wrongly released from prison in February.

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CCTV handout image issued by the Metropolitan Police of a suspect involved in the abduction and rape of two women in north London (Met Police/PA)

He was freed automatically half-way through a three-year sentence for burglary and theft – but should have gone before a parole board, it is understood.

McCann is believed to have been subject to a life-long licence after he was released from prison in February 2017 having served 10 years of an indeterminate sentence for public protection (IPP) for an aggravated burglary.

Scotland Yard has offered a reward of up to £20,000 for information leading to his arrest and prosecution.

Police have warned McCann is “extremely dangerous”, known to use false names and may be wearing a disguise.

Officers said he has recently gone by the name of Joel and has links to Watford, north-west London, Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, and Ipswich in Suffolk, as well as historic family links to Manchester.

Superintendent Sarah Pengelly, of Cheshire Constabulary, said: “McCann is a dangerous individual and I would advise anyone who sees him not approach him but instead call us immediately on 999.

“Enquiries to locate him are ongoing and there is a large police presence in the Congleton area. This includes road checks in and out of the town.

“The two women abducted in Congleton were not injured. However, they have been left extremely shaken as a result of their ordeal and are currently being supported by specially trained officers.”

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