Former UK officer, exposed as serial rapist, sentenced to life

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 06: Activists gather for a protest outside Southwark Crown Court as sentencing trial of former Metropolitan Police officer David Carrick begins after he pleaded guilty to 49 sexual offences including 24 counts of rap

A former London police officer was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison with a minimum term of 30 years for raping and sexually assaulting a dozen women over a 17-year period.

Metropolitan Police officer David Carrick, 48, admitted last month he was a serial rapist in what prosecutors described as one of the most shocking cases involving a serving police officer.

Carrick, who joined the force in 2001, pleaded guilty to 49 offenses including 24 counts of rape and charges including assault, attempted rape and false imprisonment. His crimes took place between 2003 and 2020.

RELATED: Girl dies in shark attack after trying to swim with dolphins

During Tuesday's sentencing hearing, Justice Bobbie Cheema-Grubb said the former officer "took monstrous advantage of women" behind a public appearance of propriety and trustworthiness.

"You brazenly raped and sexually assaulted a number of women, some very brutally, and you behaved as if you were untouchable. You were bold and at times relentless, trusting that no victim would overcome her shame and fear to report you," the judge told Carrick.

"For nearly two decades you were proved right but now a combination of those 12 women, by coming forward, and your police colleagues, by acting on their evidence, have exposed you and brought you low," she added.

The judge said Carrick had attempted to kill himself while on remand in a London high-security prison.

The Metropolitan Police has apologized to victims after it emerged that nine allegations of rape and other crimes were made against Carrick between 2000 and 2021. He was only suspended from the force after his arrest for a rape complaint in 2021.

The case was the latest in a string of scandals to undermine public trust in the Metropolitan Police, the largest police force in Britain. Authorities have put heavy pressure on the police to reform its culture and standards after a series of allegations of misogyny and racism within its ranks.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman, the top government official responsible for policing, said Tuesday that Carrick’s crimes were "a scar on our police." An inquiry is ongoing into his behavior and decision-making processes around his vetting, she said.