Por June Kelly, Claire Ellison y Judith Burns
BBC news inside
For 20 years, David Carrick, a serial rapist and violent sex offender, wore a police uniform and carried a gun most of the time.
In his private life, he would tell his victims, "You are my slaves," as he controlled, abused, and subjected them to gruesome acts of humiliation. They would never believe them, since his word would be against that of a serving officer, Carrick told them.
Carrick has now admitted to 49 charges related to 12 victims. His guilty pleas leave the Metropolitan Police, the force in which he served, once again apologizing for failing to locate a uniformed criminal.
- Met cop admits to being a serial rapist
Carrick was finally apprehended when a woman decided to report him. In October 2021, following the discovery of disgraced Met Police Officer PC Wayne Couzens, he contacted police in Hertfordshire, where Carrick lived and had committed many of his crimes.
The woman described how she met Carrick a year earlier on Tinder, the dating app. When they met, he showed her her police ID, claimed that he had met famous people, including the prime minister, and said that he had handled firearms. She also mentioned his pet snake. He told her that she wanted a submissive wife.
After dousing her with alcohol, he took her to a hotel room, where she said he raped her. Carrick was arrested and charged.
When he first appeared in court, he denied the allegation, but as a defendant in a court case, Carrick's name was released. Det Ch Insp. Iain Moor of Hertfordshire Police, who led the investigation, identified this first complainant as the trigger.
When he finally saw him on the bench, Carrick's many victims, previously intimidated and silenced, gradually began to come forward. "The investigation has skyrocketed," says Det Ch Insp Moor. Little did the first applicant realize that she would be giving so many women the chance to take off the law and order mask of a monster.
The Met issued an apology after it emerged that Carrick had caught the attention of the Met and three other forces nine times.
Deputy Commissioner Barbara Gray says the force "should have recognized their pattern of abusive behaviour". She says the mistakes "could have prolonged" the suffering of the Carrick victims.
Carrick's first known victim described being wrongly imprisoned, raped and threatened by him in 2003, as he was finishing his probationary period with the police.
He continued to rape, sexually assault, and abuse various women, calling them his prostitutes. She told some what to wear, where to sleep, and what to eat, sometimes even forbidding them to eat altogether. She forbade some from talking to other men or even their own children. She urinated on the others.
One woman described how Carrick would whip her with a belt, another how he would periodically lock her in a small cupboard under the stairs. She was left there "intimidated and humiliated until he decided when she could come out," says Det Ch Insp Moor, adding: "I've seen crates for bigger dogs."
He says that Carrick formed relationships with women "to maintain his appetite for humiliation and control." “He made a living humiliating his victims,” says Det Ch Insp Moor. Three women were in "control and coercion" relationships with Carrick. And the police assume there could be more victims.
Hertfordshire Police have created a special section on their website that allows people to report directly online without having to go through a police control room or the general online reporting system.
BBC News also spoke to a woman Carrick met through a dating site. He didn't attack her and she's not one of the women in this case. Although they never went out, she once went to her house.
She describes how he started bombarding her with messages that "really freaked me out." "He was weird," she says. "I thought that I should be nice to him because he's a policeman, and I also thought that it's safe to trust a policeman."
In the messages, Carrick told her that he thought he would fall for her and accused her of continuing with him. She is shocked and amazed by the crimes of a man she saw as conceited and strange.
In interviews with police, Carrick appeared relaxed, stating that the sexual activity was consensual or non-consensual.
And for months, it looked like his victims would face the ordeal in court when Carrick denied the charges. Suddenly, in December 2022, he admitted to most crimes. He was due to appear in court on the remaining charges in February, but now the arch-handler has also pleaded guilty to those charges.
His conviction has left police with serious questions to answer.
Carrick joined the Met in 2001 at the age of 26 after a stint in the military. He passed the vetting procedure despite having been involved in possible crimes twice in the previous year, although he was not arrested or charged, including the robbery involving a former partner was involved, which he had refused to accept anymore was in a relationship.
In 2002, Carrick, the rookie cop, was investigated by his own squad after being accused of sexually assaulting and abusing a former partner. There were no criminal charges and he was not referred to the Met's Directorate of Professional Standards.
There have been several other reports of assault, harassment, and domestic violence throughout PC Carrick's career, but none resulted in criminal prosecution. He was on the police radar in Hertfordshire, Hampshire and the Thames Valley.
An allegation was made in 2009 when Carrick became a member of armed teams guarding Parliament buildings, government offices and diplomatic missions.
In 2017 he passed the police control, but two years later he was accused of grabbing a woman by the neck. There were no criminal charges here either. And although the Met was informed, it was decided against a misconduct proceeding.
In the summer of 2021, Carrick was charged with rape and arrested by Hertfordshire Police, but the Met allowed him to continue working, with reduced duties.
While the Met publicly proclaimed its commitment to protecting women after the murder of Sarah Everard, it now admits that its professional standards department did not attempt to review the full record of another officer accused of rape.
Ms Gray, who recently took over the department, says she is incredulous and insists that Carrick should have been re-examined and suspended.
The rape case was not pursued after the woman withdrew her complaint. And Carrick was preparing to return to his full duties when he was re-arrested on another rape charge. He was charged, publicly named, and his 17-year crime finally exposed.
The Met has asked the police watchdog to review its decision-making on Carrick, a case Ms Gray describes as "devastating for victims who have endured pain and suffering at the hands of a police officer in service".
"It's devastating to the trust we're working so hard to win from women and girls across London," she says. "We know this is a day where the police have definitely stepped back."
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Met cop admits to being a serial rapist