A man convicted of a series of rapes and kidnaps of 11 people was able to commit his crimes after mistakenly being released from prison by authorities.
Joseph McCann, 34, was convicted at the Old Bailey on Friday on 37 counts relating to attacks across London, Hertfordshire and the North West of England.
He attacked victims ranging from an 11-year-old boy to a 71-year-old woman during a fortnight-long spree across April and May this year.
The offences included attacks on a teenage brother and sister in front of each other in their own home.
The convicted burglar had been released from prison in February, despite being subject to an Imprisonment for Public Protection sentence.
After being convicted in 2008 for burglary with a knife, McCann should have been recalled to prison after a fresh burglary and theft conviction in 2017.
Following an internal investigation, the Ministry of Justice accepted he was freed in error.
McCann’s rampage began in Watford before moving on to London, Greater Manchester and Cheshire, with hundreds of officers being deployed in the manhunt.
He was finally caught hiding in a tree.
Detective Chief Inspector Katherine Goodwin, who led the investigation, said: “McCann is a depraved and extremely dangerous individual who subjected 11 innocent people to horrific sexual and physical assaults – the memory of which they will have to live with for the rest of their lives.
“This case is one of the most shocking I have ever worked on.”