Inside the courtroom as rapist police officer David Carrick's victims watched his 'downfall’
Rapist police officer David Carrick's victims have finally seen justice - but the damage done to public trust in police lingers, ITV News' Chloe Keedy reports.
Courtroom 2 was absolutely packed for the sentencing of David Carrick.
The press benches along each side of the dock were full and, behind it, in the public gallery, sat some of the people responsible for exposing his crimes.
His victims and his fellow police officers. At least one woman was both.
David Carrick sat in the centre of it all, wearing a white shirt and dark suit, with his head bowed and his eyes on the floor throughout.
Occasionally he shook his head as the sickening details of his crimes were read out to him by the judge.
Carrick has admitted to 49 charges - most of them sexual offences - all of them committed while he was a serving Metropolitan Police officer.
In a televised sentencing, Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb told him that his convictions represented a "spectacular downfall" for a man charged with upholding the law.
"Behind a public appearance of propriety and trustworthiness, you took monstrous advantage of women drawn into intimate relationships with you. You brazenly raped and sexually assaulted many women, some you barely knew. You behaved as if you were untouchable."
She spoke about the bravery of Carrick’s victims for coming forward.
She said: "These women are not weak or ineffectual, they were victims of your criminal mindset.
"Even today courage calls to courage everywhere and its voice cannot be denied.
As he was led away to begin 36 life sentences, for which he will serve at least 30 years, he didn’t make any eye contact with the women, who were sitting a few metres away.
When he was gone, they stood up and hugged each other. Some of them smiled.
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But the protest taking place outside the court was a reminder that no sentence could be long enough to repair the damage that's been done to public trust in police.
The Met Commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, apologised again today for police failings and promised that the force is taking action to change.
At least one of Carrick's twelve victims believes Rowley is telling the truth. ‘Michelle’ is herself a serving Met Police officer. She was a colleague of David Carrick's when he raped her in 2004.
She told me as we walked away from court that she was ‘satisfied’ with the sentence, grateful to those that had made it happen, and that it had finally given her some closure.
"I've spent twenty years of my life with it hanging over me, so hopefully I can now move on.
"As an ex-police officer it's never going to be easy (for him) in prison. He's taken away some of my years and hopefully now he'll see what it's like to lose a big chunk of your life."
For almost two decades David Carrick got away with it. His job as a police officer was to help bring people to justice. Today his victims finally got theirs.