LONDON - A British police officer in an armed unit protecting Members of Parliament and foreign diplomats has admitted 24 counts of rape and a string of other sex offences over nearly two decades.
David Carrick, 48, appeared in court in London on Monday and pleaded guilty to four counts of rape, as well as false imprisonment and indecent assault against a 40-year-old woman in 2003.
Reporting restrictions were lifted on his admission at a previous hearing in December last year of 43 charges against 11 other women, including 20 counts of rape, over a 16-year period to September 2020.
Carrick’s force, the Metropolitan Police, has apologised to his victims, after it emerged police were aware of several allegations of rape, domestic violence and harassment against him.
But he faced no criminal sanctions or internal disciplinary proceedings. He was suspended from duty after he was arrested in October 2021.
The Metropolitan Police has been under intense scrutiny about the conduct of its officers, particularly since the kidnap, rape and murder of a young woman in south London in March 2021.
Wayne Couzens, who also served with the Met’s diplomatic protection squad, detained Sarah Everard by falsely claiming she had broken coronavirus lockdown rules.
She was then raped and strangled. Couzens admitted killing her and is serving a full-life sentence in prison.
Police were criticised for a lack of proper vetting procedures of Couzens, and for failing to take action after he allegedly exposed himself in 2015.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, whose office oversees policing in the British capital, said he was “sickened and appalled” by Carrick’s offending.
“Londoners will be rightly shocked that this man was able to work for the Met for so long and serious questions must be answered about how he was able to abuse his position as an officer in this horrendous manner,” he added.
Investigators said Carrick met some of his victims through online dating apps or on social occasions and used his position as a police officer to gain their trust.
He then subjected them to attacks, coercive control and degrading treatment.
“It is unbelievable to think these offences could have been committed by a serving police officer,” said Detective Chief Inspector Iain Moor, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit.
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Barbara Gray praised the women’s bravery for coming forward and described Carrick as a “prolific serial sex offender” who had “devastated” their lives, and dented confidence in the police.
She admitted his behaviour should have been identified and said the case had been referred to the police watchdog.
Judge Bobbie Cheema-Grubb told Carrick she will sentence him over two days from Feb 6. AFP