12:17, April 28 251 0 theguardian.com

2017-04-28 12:17:05

 

Man who raped stranger hours before his wedding given life term

A bridegroom who raped a stranger hours before his wedding after being released on parole for a similar crime was sentenced to life imprisonment on Friday and must serve a minimum of nine years.

Derry McCann, 28, raped a 24-year-old woman as she walked back from an art show hours before he married his pregnant girlfriend in January 2017 .

He dragged her into Victoria Park in east London and subjected her to a two-hour ordeal, raping her three times, taunting and degrading her, playing “mind games” with her, and stealing her bra and mobile phone.

Snaresbrook crown court heard that he had been on parole at the time, having being released from prison 13 months earlier from a life sentence for a carbon copy rape committed in 2006, when he was 17.

Sentencing him, judge Martyn Zeidman, said McCann would not be considered for parole for at least nine years and that it may never happen.

“The Parole Board will need to appreciate that in my view you are, and are likely to remain an exceptionally dangerous violent criminal who poses the most dire risk to women even after the expiry of the minimum term.”

The judge said he was sending a copy of his remarks directly to the board.

McCann was arrested as a result of the distinctive modus operandi and striking similarities to the 2006 attack. He pleaded guilty to three counts of rape, assault by penetration and robbery.

Kate Bex QC, prosecuting, said McCann had been drinking with his girlfriend and family, left the pub and lay in wait in Victoria Park shortly before midnight. He was seen on CCTV following another woman beforethe one he targeted.

He subjected his victim to degrading sexual acts and interrogated her during “long drawn out psychological game”. He kept asking her “what are we doing” and when his victim replied “you are raping me” he appeared to like hearing the phrase, Bex said.

McCann was convicted in 2006 of raping and robbing a 30-year-old woman in nearby Mile End Park, taunting her and ordering her to “make noises like you’re enjoying it”. At one point he stroked her hair, telling her she was his girlfriend.

He tried to claim the sex was consensual, but was convicted of one count of robbery, two of sexual assault, one of assault by penetration, one of causing a person to engage in sexual activity, six counts of rape and one of attempted rape.

He was jailed for life, to serve a minimum of 3,094 days, but appealed and the minimum sentence was reduced to seven years. He was released on parole in December 2015.

Zeidman said: “Friday 13 January 2017 is a date that your victim will never forget. You behaved as a monster. Raping the victim in every possible way, and doing it in a manner that amounted to torture. Playing mind games, asking her what she thought you were going to do next and taunting her for almost two hours.

“In addition to the physical pain you set out to degrade and humiliate her in ways that are so cruel and gross that I will not identify them any further. I am worried that you might even relish a recital of them.

“Just hours later you married your pregnant girlfriend. I just wonder what sentence you would impose if someone had done this to your wife or female friends.

“This wrongdoing is made even worse by the serious violence that you have carried out before” and the 2006 offence was a “further horrendous rape with many aggravating features,” he said.

He had takenMcCann’s guilty plea and remorse into account, he added.

Edmund Vickers QC, for McCann, said: “He is disgusted at himself and that disgust has culminated in a failed suicide attempt”. He his client was on suicide watch, had experienced violence and sexual assault in childhood and had a dis-social personality disorder.

McCann was granted parole despite the judge in his 2006 trial warning he had serious concerns he would remain a danger to women, and sending a transcript of his sentencing remarks to the prison.

The Parole Board has 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”.