Staffordshire, UK — Stoke-on-Trent taxi driver Iftab Hussain risked his life in order to get serial rapist Joseph McCann to justice.
The 31-year-old cabbie narrated the chilling moment that unfolded last May 5 of this year.
The taxi driver had just started his six-hour-shift when he got a call to pick up a passenger at the Rising Sun pub. What Mr. Hussain did not know, however, is that he is about to pull-up to Britain’s most wanted serial rapist.
Furthermore, the sex offender was on his two-week spree of terrifying knifepoint attacks. But during that time, McCann had just carried out what would have been his final crime.
“It was odd because I was told that the customer had not given a destination when he ordered the taxi,” the cabbie said. “That’s unusual.”
The fugitive, who allegedly was drunk, then hopped inside the cab with a glass of his unfinished drink.
“I said ‘look, no drinks in the car’. He kept asking ‘why not’ and then said he would finish it quickly. He said he had been drinking all night and had no idea where he was,” Mr. Hussain said. “I asked him where he wanted to go and he kept saying ‘I’m not sure, I’m not sure, let me get an address, just keep driving’.
Eventually, McCann handed out a piece of paper with an address on it.
“It was for Manchester,” the dad-of-three recalled. “I was already suspicious about his behaviour.”
Little did Mr. Hussain know that his passenger had just been involved in a high-speed police chase after he abducted two 14-year-old girls in a stolen car. However, he crashed into a car at a roundabout in Congleton, Cheshire. He then fled on foot and abandoned the terrified teens in the car and eventually made his way to the pub.
“After I picked him up I got an alert on my PDA from the office to say that a wanted man was in this area and that there were roadblocks on the nearby A34.
“I looked in my rearview mirror and realized that he was in my cab.”
Mr. Hussain then hid the PDA so McCann couldn’t see that the alert had come through.
“He kept saying ‘go on the M6, head to the M6’,” the taxi driver said.
But instead of following McCann’s request, Mr. Hussain took a wrong turn onto the A34.
“Thank God he didn’t realize what I’d done. If I’d taken him on the M6 he would have got away and it would have been down to me.
“I knew there would be a roadblock and that the police would stop me.”
Further into the fare, they managed to pass by the spot where McCann crashed his vehicle.
“He said: ‘I wonder what happened here’,” the taxi driver said. “I thought anything could happen here. He had a glass in his hand and if need be he could have taken me hostage.
“I put it to the back of my mind and came up to a roadblock on the A34. The police officer looked at me and McCann said: “Don’t stop, whatever you do, don’t stop’.
“He was kicking the back of my chair.
“I pulled over and brought the car to a quick stop. The police officer jumped in and demanded to see his tattoos.
“He kept saying ‘It’s not me, it’s not me’. He got out of the car and as one of the officers turned he threw the glass down and ran through a hedge.”
A few minutes later, around 50 cops arrived in the area with 2 helicopters overhead.
“They threw up a cordon and closed the road off. I stayed there with the police officer in the dead of night as they continued to search,” Mr. Hussain added.
Eventually, authorities found the suspect hiding up on a tree and arrested him.
Records show that McCann sexually attacked 11 women and children – aged between 11 and 71 – in his assault spree. A nationwide manhunt was launched for McCann.
Furthermore, investigators reveal that McCann previously served in jail after he burgled the home of an 85-year-old man and threatened to stab him. However, a probation service error freed him and he was out to carry out further crimes.
Meanwhile, Mr. Hussain was praised for his vital role in capturing the serial rapist. However, he said: “His victims, those who stood up in court to bring him to justice, are the real heroes.”
“I couldn’t live with that – so I did what I could. I knew I was in danger but if he’d got away he could have killed, I just did the right thing – that’s all. If I hadn’t done what I did he would have continued doing what he was doing.”
McCann was found guilty last week of 37 counts, including rape, kidnap and false imprisonment. A judge at the Old Bailey on Monday branded him a ‘classic psychopath’ and sentenced him to 33 life sentences with a minimum of 30 years.
But the cabbie disapproved the sentence. “How is that justice? In 30 years, he will get a second chance at life. What of his victims? He should spend the rest of his natural life behind bars.”