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Police hunting alleged rapist Joseph McCann ‘secure’ suspect

Two women were abducted in Congleton on Sunday evening.

Cheshire Constabulary said the suspect had been “secured by officers in a rural area” (PA/ Met Police)
Cheshire Constabulary said the suspect had been “secured by officers in a rural area” (PA/ Met Police)

Officers hunting fugitive Joseph McCann over three rapes and two abductions have located a man in Congleton who “is currently talking to trained negotiators”, police said.

Cheshire Constabulary said the suspect had been “secured by officers in a rural area” of the town where a police presence was on the ground and in the air overnight.

According to reports, the man was evading capture by hiding in a tree on a country lane as police helicopters monitored the scene from above.

Earlier two women were forced into a black Fiat Punto in the town centre at around 6.45pm, sparking fears that the “extremely dangerous” suspected rapist had struck again.

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McCann allegedly snatched two women in their 20s off the streets in north London (Met Police/PA

The vehicle made off after it was spotted and pursued by officers, before it hit another car and the driver fled.

Police said the women had been left “extremely shaken” as a result of their ordeal but were unhurt.

Cheshire Constabulary later said officers had tracked down a man wanted in connection with the abductions.

“The man has been secured by officers in a rural area of Congleton and is currently talking to trained negotiators,” the force said.

BBC News reported that the suspect was in a tree on Smithy Lane, a country road just outside the town, while the Stoke Sentinel said there was police activity 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.

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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Superintendent Sarah Pengelly said McCann is a “dangerous individual” (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 offered a reward of up to £20,000 for information leading to his arrest and prosecution.

PA

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