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Victoria Park rape: Parole Board to review why Derry McCann was let out of jail in 2015

PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 March 2017

Rapist: Derry McCann. Picture: Met Police

Rapist: Derry McCann. Picture: Met Police

Archant

The decision to free jailed "torture" rapist Derry McCann in 2015 will be investigated by the Parole Board after his sadistic attack on a woman in Victoria Park.

Derry McCann was jailed for life, with a minimum of nine years, in December 2006.Derry McCann was jailed for life, with a minimum of nine years, in December 2006.

McCann, 28, of St Peter’s Way, Haggerston, raped his victim in the early hours of January 13 – hours before marrying his pregnant fiancée.

The woman was walking home after a night out with friends when he dragged her into bushes and raped her, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard last week.

He played “mind games” with her – photographing her, and stealing her bra and mobile phone.

Dressed in a grey hoodie and with a ginger beard, McCann muttered guilty pleas to three counts of rape, assault by penetration and robbery.

Police tape in Victoria Park at the scene of the attack on January 13. Picture: @LundunFeeldzPolice tape in Victoria Park at the scene of the attack on January 13. Picture: @LundunFeeldz

But questions have been asked about why he was free to carry out the attack in the first place. He was deemed fit for release from prison in 2015 after being jailed for life in December 2006 for raping a woman in Mile End Park when he was 17.

During his sentencing in that case, judge Lindsay Burn said McCann’s behaviour amounted to torture and told him: “There’s a substantial risk you will commit further serious offences in the future.”

But his minimum nine-year sentence was cut on appeal in 2008 to seven-and-a-half years, after which he was transferred to an open prison for the remainder of his term.

Before his release, the Parole Board assessed the risk he posed to the public and decided he presented no serious harm. Bosses at the government agency have now promised a full review of the decision.

A spokeswoman said: “The board is deeply concerned to learn of the circumstances which led to the further serious offence, and we can only imagine the trauma and pain this has caused the victim.

“We are committed to doing everything we can to learn the lessons to help prevent such terrible events happening in the future.”

Prosecutor Kate Bex told the court last week the victim had decided against walking through the middle of the park because she deemed it too dangerous, and went around the outside instead.

“Within feet of the exit,” she said, “the defendant grabbed her and pulled her off the park and began a sustained and systematic attack.”

McCann had an “unusual” conversation with his victim as he attacker her, Ms Bex told the court. It was “best described as mind games and an attempt to control her – asking the victim what she thought he was going to do to her before carrying out the attacks that he did.”

Judge Martyn Zeidman told him: “You have done the most terrible things. You will be going to prison, as you understand, for a very, very long time.”

Det Insp Lee Davison from the Met’s sexual offences, exploitation and child abuse command said: “This man is a vicious predator and an extreme danger to woman.

“He preyed on his victim and set out to degrade her physically and psychologically.

“No one should have to endure what she was forced to go through and I want to formally pay tribute to her courage and determination. It is through her bravery we have been able to bring McCann to justice.”

Andrew Held from the Crown Prosecution Service added: “This was a terrifying, violent and prolonged attack involving rapes committed by a man intent on inflicting fear and psychological suffering.

“The strong prosecution case which led to today’s guilty pleas included victim testimony, an ID parade, CCTV footage, and bad character evidence based on a similar rape committed by McCann in 2006.

“I would like to thank McCann’s victim for her courage in helping bring this prosecution and hope his conviction provides some sense of justice for her.”

McCann will be sentenced on April 28.

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