The police officer told one woman he was the “safest person she could be with,” before threatening her with a gun and raping her repeatedly. He shut another woman in a small closet under his staircase, holding her there for hours on end. One of the women he sexually assaulted was a fellow police officer.
At a sentencing hearing in London on Monday, prosecutors laid out the shocking details of the sexual violence carried out by the officer, David Carrick, who raped, assaulted, and abused at least 12 women during his nearly two-decade police career.
The case of Mr. Carrick, whose crimes went unpunished for nearly 20 years despite earlier reports of violence against women, is the latest and among the most damaging to cast a spotlight on abuse perpetrated by some members of the Metropolitan Police, the force which covers London.
The service has been plagued by scandal in recent years, as a number of crimes against women by current and former officers have come to light. Critics say the force has made little progress in changing a culture where officers have long acted with impunity and closed ranks when accusations emerged.
The sheer scale and brutality of Mr. Carrick’s crimes, along with the horrific killing in 2021 of a young woman, Sarah Everard, by another London officer, have raised profound questions about how such violence by serving members of the force has gone unchecked.
Mr. Carrick, 48, joined the Metropolitan Police in 2001, before later transferring to a unit tasked with parliamentary and diplomatic protection duties. Last month, he pleaded guilty to 49 charges of carrying out crimes against 12 women, including 24 counts of rape, as well as numerous charges of sexual assault, controlling and coercive behavior and false imprisonment.
The crimes took place over 17 years from 2003 to 2020, according to prosecutors, and all were committed at the time he was a serving officer with the Metropolitan Police Service.
During the sentencing hearing that began at Southwark Criminal Court in London on Monday, Tom Little, one of the prosecutors on the case, called Mr. Carrick’s crimes a series of “violent and brutal sexual offenses” against multiple victims. All of the women were granted anonymity, as is customary for the victims of sexual crimes.
One of the women Carrick attacked was a fellow police officer who revealed that he attacked her when they were working together in 2004. She said that she had been reluctant to report the assault because of the culture in the police force at the time.
Mr. Little described how Mr. Carrick had threatened another victim, with whom he was in a relationship, with his police baton and sent her photos of his police-issued gun, telling her that she had to obey him. He watched her on a camera in their shared home, and falsely imprisoned her, “punishing” her with acts of violence or shutting her in a small closet under the stairs, Mr. Little said.
One victim, Darciane Nunes Da Silva, 43, waived her right to anonymity and has told British news outlets that she believes there may be more victims of Mr. Carrick who has yet to come forward.
Mr. Carrick’s defense attorney spoke briefly on Monday to say that his client’s guilty plea signaled that he “accepts full responsibility” for his actions.
The hearing will continue on Tuesday. Mr. Carrick faces a sentence of up to life in prison.
Last month, after Mr. Carrick pleaded guilty, Shilpa Shah, the senior crown prosecutor in the case, said that the vast number of charges for rape and serious sexual assault over a 17-year period was “one of the most significant cases” with which prosecutors had dealt.
“It was harrowing seeing how victims were relentlessly manipulated; they were financially cut off and isolated from their friends and family and repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted,” Ms. Shah said in a statement. “Carrick took so much from them both physically and mentally.”
Mr. Carrick was officially fired by the Metropolitan Police last month after his guilty plea. His case is the latest in a series of crimes of violence against women attributed to serving and former London police officers. Perhaps most prominent was the 2021 killing of Ms. Everard, who was abducted and killed by a London police officer and whose death set off a national reckoning.
That officer, Wayne Couzens, who also worked for the Metropolitan Police, used his position of authority to lure Ms. Everard to her death. He confronted Ms. Everard said as she walked home from a friend’s house, he was arresting her for allegedly breaking pandemic restrictions, ordered her to get into his car, and then abducted, raped and murdered her.
In 2021, Mr. Cousens was sentenced to life in prison for Ms. Everard’s murder.
For a while, Mr. Carrick was assigned to the parliamentary and diplomatic protection command, which contained hundreds of officers and was the same unit that Mr. Cousens worked in.
The cases have fueled broader concerns about misogyny within policing and violence against women and girls.
Amidst the pressure building on the force, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, Cressida Dick, announced that she was stepping down last February.
Last month, her replacement, Mark Rowley, who took over in September, said that the force had “a practical plan for turning things around” but warned that the public should “prepare for more painful stories” to emerge as the force began to review a series of allegations.
The police service is reviewing 1,633 cases of alleged sexual offenses and domestic violence that involve more than 1,000 officers and staff members.