On 4 and 5 May 2019, Joseph McCann physically and sexually assaulted several women and children across the North West of England. These were horrific offences including abduction, rape and sexual assault.

The findings of a Serious Further Offence Review into his crimes have today revealed a shocking number of failings by the National Probation Service in their management of McCann following a number of previous offences.

Jonathan Bridge at Farleys Solicitors acts for various victims of his atrocities. He comments:

“This Serious Further Offence Review has been undertaken due to the fact that McCann was being supervised by the National Probation Service when these offences were committed.

“We already knew that McCann had been sentenced to an indeterminate sentence for public protection following an offence against an 85 year old male on 27 December 2007. We also knew that as a result he should have been recalled by the Probation Service when he reoffended in August of 2017. When he committed these horrendous offences against our clients he should have been in prison.

“What we did not know until we saw this report is the extent of the Probation Service failings. The report highlights eight missed opportunities to recall McCann. It describes repeated poor practice on the part of the Probation Service with a failure to complete risk assessments, a failure to assess McCann’s risk as a potential sexual offender. Probation Officers failed to complete multi-agency assessments and to meaningfully update risk assessments.

“Multiple different officers dealt with McCann. One particular officer was repeatedly told to explore recall and never did. He was an inexperienced officer who had only been taken on by the Probation Service on a temporary basis yet was put in charge of a dangerous offender.

“Most worryingly the report highlights poor staff behaviour, limited productivity, poor quality of work, a high staff turnover and officers having to work with double the capacity they should have had. This report makes it clear that this was not a one-off mistake by the Probation Service, but a catalogue of errors spanning a number of years.

“It is absolutely clear that had the Probation Service done their job properly McCann would have been in prison and his victims would not have suffered horrific abuse and life changing psychiatric injury”.

For interview requests with Jonathan Bridge please contact Reta Rose, Head of Marketing at Farleys Solicitors on reta.rose@farleys.com, 0161 835 9513 or 07843 633 012