'We have let down women': Met chief apologises after judge hands down 36 life sentences for David Carrick's sex crimes

7 February 2023, 15:51 | Updated: 7 February 2023, 16:22

Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said the Met had 'let women down'
Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said the Met had 'let women down'. Picture: LBC / Alamy

By Danielle DeWolfe

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley has said the police force has "let down women" after disgraced officer David Carrick was handed 36 life sentences for his sex crimes.

Speaking following Carrick's sentencing, the commissioner labelled the former officer's crimes "unspeakably evil" after the cop admitted to a 17-year reign of terror against a dozen women.

In a statement outside New Scotland Yard, Rowley said that Carrick had "subjected these victims and survivors to the most degrading and inhumane treatment."

Noting the officer had exploited his position "in the most disgusting way", Rowley added: "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. I want to again reiterate my apology on behalf of the Met. We are truly sorry."

Pleading guilty to 85 offences against dozens of women over a 17-year period, he is now regarded as one of the UK's most prolific sex offenders. Carrick will serve a minimum 30 years in prison.

Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley labelled Carrick's actions 'unspeakably evil'
Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley labelled Carrick's actions 'unspeakably evil'. Picture: LBC / Alamy

“I recognise that as a result of this case and other prominent recent cases, there are women whose trust in the police is profoundly shaken," said Rowley.

“I and tens of thousands of officers and staff in the Met are horrified by this man’s crimes and recognise this will shake Londoners trust too."

Rowley added: “We have let down women across London but we are more determined than ever to put it right."

The comments followed Judge Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb's sentencing, in which she labelled Carrick "a monster”.

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She said the rapist had caused "broad devastation", and that the ex-cop posed "a high risk of causing physical and sexual harm to the public".

It followed Rowley's comments that the Metropolitan Police have been "too weak" in rooting out rogue officers.

“I have been clear, we will rid the Met of those who corrupt our integrity by bringing the same intensive investigative approach to identifying wrongdoing in our own ranks as we do to identifying criminals in the community. Some other police services are starting to confront similar issues.“

Former Met police officer Carrick is now regarded as one of the UK's most prolific sex offenders.
Former Met police officer Carrick is now regarded as one of the UK's most prolific sex offenders. Picture: LBC / Alamy

Earlier in the day, the court heard how Carrick was removed from Belmarsh Prison and air lifted to hospital in 2022 after attempting to take his own life while in custody.

His crimes spanned 2003 and 2020, a period throughout which he was a serving police officer. Carrick was sacked by the Met Police in January for gross misconduct.

Appearing at Southwark Crown Court on the second day of the two-day hearing, Justice Cheema-Grubb also described how the 48-year-old and those like him stood in the way of a “revolution of womens’ dignity".

Ian Moore from Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire's major crimes unit said outside court after the sentencing: "I'm truly humbled by the bravery of the victims. Each one was willing to relive their horrendous ordeal and face Carrick in court.

"I would urge anyone who thinks they've been a victim of David Carrick to come forward. We still want to hear from you, and we will support you.

"As a serving police officer David Carrick has brought shame on the profession and was not fit to wear the uniform."

A Crown Prosecution Service spokesperson added: "We cannot undo the pain and anguish that [Carrick's victims] endured. But I hope they can take this first step in rebuilding their lives knowing he can't harm them or any other woman.

"We are determined to see justice done for more victims of violence against women and girls."

The court had previously heard how Carrick was an opportunist who preyed on vulnerable women, urinating on and beating his victims during a string of sex attacks.
The court had previously heard how Carrick was an opportunist who preyed on vulnerable women, urinating on and beating his victims during a string of sex attacks. Picture: LBC / Alamy

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After his suicide attempt Carrick was transferred to Rampton psychiatric hospital.

During sentencing, the judge noted how "certain themes emerged" as victims recounted their experiences at the hands of Carrick.

Describing the repeated use of his position as a police officer to gain trust and power over victims, the use of police issue weapons to assert force and the regular use of coercive control were also highlighted.

Carrick pled guilty to 49 offences, including 24 of rape, nine sexual assaults and three counts of false imprisonment
Carrick pled guilty to 49 offences, including 24 of rape, nine sexual assaults and three counts of false imprisonment. Picture: PA

The judge also noted the way in which Carrick "threatened to report a victim to immigration authorities".

Highlighting graphic instances of rape, sexual assault, physical assault and coercive control among Carrick's victims, the former officer spied on victims using a remote camera set up in his home.

The court heard how Carrick's abusive behaviour extended to sexual relationships with his fellow officers, in one instance, Carrick “slashed her work shirts gratuitously” in order to cause her “trouble at work”.

Describing how Carrick's parents "drank to excess", the judge described how the former officer himself abused alcohol.

The court had previously heard how Carrick was an opportunist who preyed on vulnerable women, urinating on and beating his victims during a string of sex attacks.

His increasingly violent behaviour also saw him lock two of his victims in a cupboard under his stairs.

David Carrick's court sketch
David Carrick's court sketch. Picture: PA

Judge Cheema-Grubb listed a "catalogue of violent and brutal sexual offences" to the court, justifying the sentence handed down to Carrick.

Agreeing with the prosecution, the judge said the case did not merit a whole-life order, despite the "upmost seriousness" of the offences carried out.

With a whole-life order meaning Carrick would never be eligible for parole, the judge instead sentences him so that parole cannot be applied for until he has served at least 30 years in prison.

During the first day of sentencing, 11 victim statements were read, including an impact statement that read: "He was a police officer - what wasn't to trust?"

Another had said she had "encountered evil" in meeting Carrick.

A further victim added she has felt "lost" for the last 19 years.

Furious Nick Ferrari says rapist cop David Carrick is Met's 'biggest crisis yet'

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