A man found guilty of multiple rapes and sexual assaults – including several in Watford – has had his sentence increased by 10 years following a landmark hearing at the Court of Appeal.
In December 2019, Joseph McCann, 35, was sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in jail after being found guilty of 37 offences – including rape, kidnap and false imprisonment – relating to 11 victims aged between 11 and 71.
Following a two-day hearing in October, the appeal court judges today, Friday, December 11, concluded the sentence was unduly lenient.
He was re-sentenced to a minimum of 40 years in jail, with the judges noting the ‘devastation’ McCann’s assaults had wreaked upon his victims’ lives.
Detective Chief Inspector Katherine Goodwin, who led the police investigation, said: “Throughout the investigation and trial, McCann’s victims displayed tremendous courage by reliving their experiences and their overwhelming evidence left the jury with no doubt as to his guilt.
“At the conclusion of the trial, the judge said he found it difficult to see how McCann could ever be safely released.
“His victims echoed these sentiments and believed his prison sentence should be more reflective not only of the horrendous crimes he committed but the significant and no doubt lifelong impact his actions have had on each of their lives.
“We were fully supportive of their decision to appeal the original sentence and we are pleased that the court has imposed a longer minimum term.
“While our investigation has ended, we know their journey is really just beginning – we hope this decision is another step towards their recovery.
“We also hope that their courage to come forward encourages others who have been victims of rape or sexual assault to do the same. We will support them and will do whatever we can to bring offenders to justice.”