David Carrick, who committed a string of sex offences including rape as well as coercive and controlling behaviour during his 17 years as a serving Metropolitan police officer, has been jailed for at least 30 years.
“I was ridiculed, teased and shamed,” one of his victim-survivors was quoted as saying by the Guardian newspaper. “I was told what to wear; what I could eat and what amounts. I was instructed to walk behind, not beside or in front.”
She added: “I was too frightened to go to the police to lodge a complaint as the defendant had drilled it into me that ‘he was the police; he was the law; and he owned me’. I was convinced the police would not believe me and would not investigate my complaint. I was terrified of making myself a target, so I remained silent.”
The woman was subjected to coercive and controlling behaviour, false imprisonment, rape and sexual assault. Looking back, she said: “It has taken me a long time to forgive myself for getting involved with the defendant in the first place … The negative impact from this experience is not going to define me but will instead shape me to be a better, stronger version of me.”
Another victim-survivor said: “He controlled almost every aspect of my life, from what I was allowed to eat, what weight he thought I should be and how much exercise he expected me to do. If I didn’t do as he requested, he would make me feel ungrateful, unappreciative, and call me obnoxious.”
He limited her involvement with friends and family and relationships. “He was eliminating my support network slowly but surely until I lost contact with everyone I cared about and then he started to push my daughter away by not involving her in plans or arrangements. My daughter was only young at the time, and still is, but I know it has ruined our relationship … The impact on my young daughter has been debilitating to her at times … She is still experiencing nightmares.” The woman eventually lost the roof over her head. “The hardest things about being homeless was the fact that my daughter had to be homeless as well. She also needed to pay the price for my stupidity and naivety. I had to sign up to benefits. I had to turn to the food bank to feed myself and my daughter. My daughter started to self-harm.”
In sentencing Carrick to a minimum of 30 years and 239 days in jail, Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb said he had taken monstrous advantage of his position as a police officer, which gave him exceptional powers to coerce and control. He had also betrayed his oath to protect the public.
In all, he attacked 12 women between 2003 and 2020 during which time, in 2009, he became an armed officer with Metropolitan Police’s parliamentary and diplomatic protection team. Among training courses Carrick took was one in 2005 on domestic abuse and violence, prosecutor Tom Little was reported as telling the sentencing hearing at Southwark crown court.
“He frequently relied on his charm to beguile and mislead the victims in the first place and would then use his power and control, in part because of what he did for a living, to stop them leaving or consider reporting him. He was no doubt aware that they would conclude they would be unlikely to be believed if they were to come forward on their own and claim that a Metropolitan Police officer had raped them,” Little said.
The court heard Carrick was allowed to remain in the Met, despite police recording nine incidents including rape and violent assault, because he was never prosecuted. Scotland Yard decided he had no case to answer.
He was sacked from the force last month while awaiting sentence after pleading guilty to 49 offences including 24 rapes and charges of controlling and coercive behaviour.
Speaking after Carrick’s jailing, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley repeated his apology for the force letting all London women down.
“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.
“Addressing systemic failures will take time, but we will be determined and relentless in rooting out the corrupt. Lifting the stone and confronting what we find beneath, will result in more difficult cases coming to light.”
He promised to give an update on the constabulary’s actions on 31 March.