Two of UK's most notorious rapists could have sentences extended to whole life

Joseph McCann and Reynhard Sinaga are to have their sentences reviewed. Credit: Metropolitan Police/Greater Manchester Police

Two notorious rapists who committed "some of the worst and most violent" sexual offences in English legal history may die behind bars if they are given whole life tariffs at a Court of Appeal hearing next month.

Reynhard Sinaga, 37, was sentenced to life in January at Manchester Crown Court for a total of 159 offences, including 136 counts of rape, committed against 48 men in Manchester - although police have linked him to more than 190 potential victims.

Joseph McCann, 35, was given 33 life sentences at the Old Bailey in December for a string of horrific sex attacks on 11 women and children during a 15-day cocaine and vodka-fuelled rampage, some of which took place in the North West.

The Attorney General's Office has referred the 30-year minimum jail terms handed to McCann and Sinaga to the Court of Appeal as "unduly lenient" and will argue they should each have received a whole life tariff instead.

A spokeswoman for the judiciary confirmed on Tuesday that the challenges to McCann and Sinaga's sentences, which were originally due to take place in March but were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, would be heard over two days on October 14-15.

Solicitor general Michael Ellis QC will argue at the hearing that McCann and Sinaga should both have been given a whole life tariff for a litany of sexual offences, which are "some of the worst and most violent that this country has ever witnessed".

The hearing, which will test whether a whole life order can be imposed in non-homicide cases, will also be the first time two separate offenders' sentences have been challenged together as being unduly lenient.

McCann carried out a series of sex attacks in London and the North West in April and May 2019, just two months after the convicted burglar was wrongly freed from prison following "major failings" by probation staff.

He was found guilty in December of 37 charges relating to 11 victims, aged between 11 and 71, and was described by the sentencing judge, Mr Justice Edis, as a "classic psychopath".

Sinaga - the UK's most prolific serial rapist - preyed on lone, drunk young men around nightclubs near his flat in Manchester, posing as a Good Samaritan who offered them a floor to sleep on or promised them more drink.

The Indonesian student drugged the men then filmed himself sexually violating them while they were unconscious, with many of his victims having little or no memory of the assaults.

Judge Suzanne Goddard QC, who sentenced him to a minimum of 30 years, described Sinaga as "an evil serial sexual predator" and a "monster".