Former British police officer jailed for life for serial rape

David Carrick, 48, committed dozens of offences across two decades while serving in London’s Metropolitan Police force.

An undated handout image shows London police officer David Carrick
Carrick's case has piled further pressure on the UK's biggest police force following a slew of scandals involving its officers [Hertfordshire Police/Handout via Reuters]

A former British police officer has been jailed for at least 30 years for raping and sexually assaulting a dozen women during a 17-year period.

David Carrick, who worked as an armed officer in the London Metropolitan Police force, appeared in the dock of Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday as he was sentenced to a minimum term of 32 years minus the time he has already spent in custody.

In the United Kingdom, those sentenced to life imprisonment must serve a minimum term and will be released only if they are no longer deemed to be a risk to the public.

“Behind a public appearance of propriety and trustworthiness, you took monstrous advantage of women,” Judge Bobbie Cheema-Grubb said.

“You brazenly raped and sexually assaulted many women … and you behaved as if you were untouchable,” she added.

Carrick, 48, had previously pleaded guilty to 49 offences, including 24 counts of rape, involving 12 victims.

His attacks took place between 2003 and 2020 and were committed while serving in the Met’s parliamentary and diplomatic command, guarding the UK Parliament, the prime minister’s residence and foreign embassies.

Met under mounting pressure

Carrick’s case has piled further pressure on the UK’s biggest police force.

The Met was placed under “special measures” last year after a slew of explosive scandals involving corruption, bullying, racism and misogyny among some of its officers. That status means the force is now subjected to heightened scrutiny, requiring it to report to inspectors more regularly.

Some of Carrick’s victims gave written statements to the court, saying they no longer trusted the police.

The UK’s home secretary, Suella Braverman, called his crimes “a scar” on the police.

“It is vital we uncover how he was able to wear the uniform for so long,” she said, adding an inquiry is continuing into his behaviour and decision-making processes around his vetting.

Carrick had previously come to police attention over nine incidents including accusations of harassment, assault and rape between 2000, the year before he began training with the Met, and October 2021, when he was first charged and arrested.

The Met suspended Carrick from duty upon his arrest two years ago and eventually dismissed him last month. The force has apologised for failing to spot his pattern of abuse.

Assistant Commissioner Barbara Gray said in a statement on Sunday evening that she was “truly sorry for the harm and devastation” caused to Carrick’s victims.

“We let them down and we failed to identify a man in the ranks of the Metropolitan Police Service who carried out the most awful offences,” she said. “He should not have been a police officer.”

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies