UK policeman gets 36 life sentences for serial rapes

Helen Rowe and Marie Heuclin, Agence France-Presse

Posted at Feb 08 2023 01:00 AM

A UK judge on Tuesday sentenced a former policeman to life in jail, with a minimum term of 30 years, for dozens of rapes and sexual assaults in the latest case to shame London's Metropolitan Police force.

Judge Bobbie Cheema-Grubb handed David Carrick 36 life sentences for a "monstrous" string of 71 sexual offences against 12 women.

She said Carrick, whose crimes included 48 rapes, represented a "grave danger to women" which would "last indefinitely".

Carrick, 48, a long-serving officer with the Met, Britain's largest police force, will serve three decades behind bars before he can be considered for parole.

The Met has vowed to end a culture of misogyny and lax vetting highlighted by the rape and murder of a young woman who was snatched off the street by a serving police officer in March 2021.

Anger and distrust towards the police has mounted since the murder of Londoner Sarah Everard during the pandemic by Wayne Couzens who has been sentenced to spend the rest of his life in jail.

Carrick and Couzens served in the same armed unit protecting MPs and foreign diplomats.

Cheema-Grubb said Carrick had "brazenly raped and sexually assaulted" his victims, believing himself to be "untouchable" due to his position which afforded him "exceptional powers to coerce and control".

Only a sentence of life imprisonment could reflect "the gravity" of his crimes, she said.

- 'Violent and brutal' -

Since the crimes of Carrick and Couzens were uncovered, a string of other cases involving police officers have also come to light. 

Even as Carrick was being sentenced, the Met announced that another serving officer had been charged with rape and assault.

Last month, campaigners dumped a basket of 1,071 rotten apples outside the force's headquarters.

The number was a symbol of how many officers the Met says have been or are being investigated over allegations of domestic abuse and violence against women and girls.

The force admitted that on average two to three officers faced criminal charges in court every week.

On Monday, prosecutor Tom Little told Southwark Crown Court in south London that Carrick used his police officer status to initially reassure women and begin relationships, before subjecting them to "a catalogue of violent and brutal sexual offences".

The officer often humiliated the women, including locking them naked in a small cupboard, urinating on them and whipping them.

- 'Unspeakably evil' -

The police had records of multiple complaints and allegations involving Carrick's behaviour but he never faced a disciplinary hearing.

He was sacked from the police only last month after pleading guilty in court.

Reacting to his sentencing, Interior Minister Suella Braverman said an independent inquiry probing the Couzens' case would be broadened to look at how Carrick remained undetected for so long.

"The crimes of David Carrick are a scar on our police, and it is only right that he now faces at least 30 years behind bars," she said in a statement.

"It is vital we uncover how he was able to wear the uniform for so long. There is no place in our police for such heinous and predatory behaviour."

The Met has apologised for failing to act on the prior allegations levelled against Carrick.

Met commissioner Mark Rowley on Tuesday described Carrick's crimes as "unspeakably evil" and admitted: "He should not have been a police officer."

"We weren't rigorous enough in our approach and as a result we missed opportunities to identify the warning signs over decades," he said.

The Met has responded to Carrick's case by setting up an investigative team to target staff suspected of domestic abuse or sexual offences.