Fugitive Joseph McCann faces 12 charges including five rapes

Captured fugitive Joseph McCann has refused to appear in court to face 12 charges including five rapes.

Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot authorised the use of force to bring the 34-year-old before her by video-link from Belmarsh prison on Thursday.

McCann, from Aylesbury, in Buckinghamshire, was arrested near Congleton, in Cheshire, in the early hours of Monday morning – more than two weeks after his first alleged attack.

He is accused of the kidnap and rape of a woman in Watford in the early hours of Sunday April 21.

McCann is further charged with two kidnappings, four counts of rape, one count of false imprisonment, two counts of causing a female to engage in sexual activity and one count of assaulting a female by penetration in London between April 24 and April 27.

He was due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Wednesday but Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot said he was "refusing to come up" from the cells.

Six uniformed officers were on guard outside the courtroom.

Prosecutor Iain Jenkins asked the judge to authorise the use of force so McCann could appear before the court by video-link from Belmarsh prison on Thursday.

Ms Arbuthnot said: "Mr McCann has failed to come up and yes, I do certainly authorise the use of force to get him before the video-link tomorrow so we can get on with the case."

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