Groom who raped stranger in park hours before marrying pregnant fiancée jailed for life

William Watkinson
Derry McCann

A groom-to-be who raped a woman in a London park hours before getting married to his pregnant fiancée has been jailed for life.

Derry McCann will serve a minimum of nine years in prison after he subjected a woman to a two-hour assault in an East London park on 13 January.

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The 28-year-old had already served a life sentence, with a minimum of nine years, for a near-identical rape in 2006 when he was 17.

At Snaresbrook Crown Court, McCann had admitted to rape, sexual assault by penetration and robbery.

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The court heard how he had dragged the victim, who was in her 20s, into undergrowth in Victoria Park, Hackney, and robbed and raped her. He took pictures of her during the assault and ran off with her cash, bra and mobile phone.

Police identified McCann because his modus operandi was so similar to the 2006 attack on a trainee solicitor. He had also been seen on CCTV stalking another woman just minutes before he chose the victim in question in the January assault.

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Hours after the rape, McCann was married to his girlfriend at The Vestry in nearby Bromley-by-Bow, prosecutors said.

The Mirror reported that he had been put on suicide watch at HMP Belmarsh after attempting to kill himself ahead of sentencing on Friday (28 April).

He was handed three concurrent life sentences with a minimum of nine years by Judge Martyn Zeidman QC, the honorary recorder of Redbridge.

He said that McCann had played a "psychological game" with his victim.

"You behaved as a monster - raping this victim in every possible way and doing it in a manner that amounted to torture," he said.

"Playing mindgames, asking what she was going to do next, and taunting her for almost two hours. And then, amazingly, just hours later, you married your pregnant girlfriend."

The court had heard how the trainee roofer was released from jail in December 2015 and had moved in with family in Hackney.

McCann, who had been diagnosed with a personality disorder, was convicted at Inner London Crown Court of six counts of rape and robbery in 2006.

On that occasion he dragged a 30-year-old victim into a secluded area of Mile End Park in East London and mugged her with an accomplice.

His co-conspirator left the scene after McCann said: "I'm going to have fun with this one, then I'm going to kill her."

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