David Carrick, a former police officer, has been sentenced to 36 life terms for committing a “horrific” series of violent acts, control, and abuse against women over a period of almost two decades.
The 48-year-old must serve at least 32 years before being eligible for release. Carrick, who was a member of the Metropolitan Police’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command, used his police authority to intimidate and silence the 12 women he subjected to degrading and humiliations. Some of the women reported being raped, while others were threatened with a gun or locked naked in a small closet and beaten with a metal whip.
The women felt they couldn’t report the abuse because they feared not being believed. Mrs. Justice Cheema Grubb ordered Carrick to serve an additional 30 years and 239 days in prison before being eligible for release, on top of the time he has already served. She stated that Carrick’s conviction marks a “spectacular downfall” for a man who was supposed to uphold the law and was authorized to carry a firearm in his duties.
Carrick’s case has caused a new controversy at Scotland Yard after it was discovered that there were several missed opportunities to uncover his abusive behavior over the course of nearly 20 years.
Despite being accused of mistreating a previous partner before joining the Metropolitan Police in 2001, being repeatedly accused of domestic violence and rape, Carrick was never charged with a crime, subjected to further vetting, suspended, or charged with misconduct. He was finally brought to justice in October 2021, when a woman accused him of date rape, and 12 more women came forward to reveal the abuse they suffered between 2003 and 2020.
One of the women reported being raped, beaten, and subjected to torment by Carrick during their relationship, including being locked in a small cupboard and told when she could eat.
“The defendant always reminded me that he was a police officer, he was the law, and he owned me,” she said, referring to her fear of reporting his behavior. “I was afraid of becoming a target, so I remained silent.”
Another of Carrick’s former partners recounted out how he had installed cameras in his home to track her movements from work and referred to her as his “slave.”
“I have never felt so humiliated, trapped, and hurt in my life,” she said. “Nobody can understand what it feels like unless they have gone through it themselves. No one can judge you and the pain will never go away.”
Carrick’s first known victim shared her experience of how, in 2003, she found herself trapped in his home with a gun pointed at her head, before being subjected to rape and abuse throughout the night.
“That night I felt as though I had encountered evil,” she said.
“I clearly remember his words, ‘Come on, you can trust me. I’m a police officer and I am the safest person you can be around.’ I genuinely thought he was going to kill me that night. I believed he was going to rape and kill me and that my life would be over.”
The victim went to the emergency room after escaping Carrick’s grip, but a nurse discouraged her from reporting the incident to the police.
The court case against Carrick also revealed instances of his abusive behavior in his personal life, including preventing a girlfriend from seeing her son for a year due to the son’s mental health issues, pushing a child’s head into a sofa, and forcing a woman to have sex with him in front of her daughter.
The case has led to reforms within the Metropolitan Police and other law enforcement agencies, including increased vetting and reinvestigations of complaints against officers.
Carrick’s lawyer, Alisdair Williamson KC, referred to Carrick as an example of “good and evil in one person,” and acknowledged that he may spend the rest of his life in prison. The court heard that Carrick told a probation officer that he was neglected as a child and abused by his stepfather.
The judge found his claim of not remembering many of the rapes to be lacking credibility, and stated that Carrick is trying to downplay his actions while unable to confront the severity of his crimes.
The judge also revealed that Carrick made a serious attempt to kill himself with a razor in February 2022 while in HMP Belmarsh. Carrick, from Stevenage, pleaded guilty to 49 charges, including 24 counts of rape.
The Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, described Carrick’s crimes as “unspeakably evil” and acknowledged that the Met failed to thoroughly vet Carrick and missed opportunities to identify warning signs over the years. Sir Mark apologized and expressed the Met’s determination to rectify the situation.
The Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, referred to Carrick’s crimes as a stain on the police force and praised the bravery of the women who came forward. She also welcomed the Angiolini Inquiry’s investigation into Carrick’s behavior and the decision-making around his vetting, and stated that there is no place in the police for such abuse.