The Daily Telegraph

Met rapist’s ‘lenient’ sentence to be reviewed

Attorney General intervenes after predator police officer avoids whole life prison tariff

- By Martin Evans crime editor and Charles Hymas Home Affairs editor

THE prison sentence handed down to rapist policeman David Carrick yesterday is already under review after the Attorney General was inundated with complaints that it was too lenient.

The 48-year-old former Metropolit­an Police officer was given 36 life sentences at Southwark Crown Court, yet was told he would be eligible for parole in 30 years, when he will be 78.

However, hours after the sentencing hearing, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office confirmed the case was being looked at as part of the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme (ULS).

Rishi Sunak has made women’s safety a key pledge of his premiershi­p, vowing in an interview last week that women “should be and deserve to feel safe”.

At Carrick’s sentencing, the court heard from victims who said they had been left unable to trust the police. Ministers now fear a lenient sentence could similarly undermine faith in the justice system.

It comes as the Met is braced for more police to face serious criminal charges after a review was launched of allegation­s of sex offences and domestic abuse against officers. All of Carrick’s offences took place while he was a serving Met officer, with many of his victims saying they were too frightened to come forward because they did not think they would be believed.

His sentencing followed his guilty pleas to 49 charges committed against 12 women over a 17-year reign of terror.

The judge, Mrs Justice Cheemagrub­b, said because he was a police officer, she had considered handing Carrick a whole life term, but had ultimately decided the case did not meet the “wholly exceptiona­l circumstan­ces” needed to justify such an order.

But following a stream of complaints about the perceived leniency of the sentence, which could see Carrick released while he is in his 70s, it was decided the case should be reviewed.

An Attorney General’s Office spokesman said: “We can confirm we have received multiple requests relating to David Carrick under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme. The case will of course be considered for referral to the Court of Appeal.

“The ULS allows prosecutor­s, victims of crime and their families, and members of the public to ask for certain Crown Court sentences to be reviewed by the law officers if they think the sentencing judge made a gross error or imposed a sentence outside the range of sentences reasonably available in circumstan­ces of the offence.”

Of those cases referred to the Court of Appeal, 70 per cent have the sentence increased.

There has been a drive for “honest” sentencing under the Tories to give the public more faith in the courts and end so-called “soft justice”. In 2019, the practice of automatica­lly releasing violent criminals halfway through their sentences was dropped.

In 2020, two of the country’s most prolific rapists, Reynhard Sinaga and Joseph Mccann, had their minimum

‘We can confirm we have received multiple requests relating to David Carrick’s sentence’

tariffs increased from 30 to 40 years under the ULS scheme, following complaints.

Sinaga received 88 concurrent life sentences after being convicted of 136 rapes against young men in Manchester. Mccann received 33 life sentences after committing sex attacks on 11 strangers, ranging in age from an 11-year-old boy to a 71-year-old woman.

Carrick’s role as a police officer has fuelled calls for him to be sentenced with the utmost severity.

His jailing came on the day another Scotland Yard officer was charged with rape and the Met Commission­er once again warned there would be more “difficult cases coming to light”.

Last year, former Met officer Wayne Couzens, who kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard, lost his bid to

equivalent to one month’s salary (£9,020) for every year of service up to a maximum of 18 months, the report says.

Sir Charles Walker, a veteran Tory backbenche­r who chairs the committee, said this offer – among others highlighte­d by the committee – should be used to inform a review of the Westminste­r system.

“I’m not recommendi­ng them, but we are just stating the case that when you look at national comparison­s in the Senedd and the Scottish Parliament and internatio­nal comparison­s, what is meant to be the greatest Parliament in the world falls well short of all of those,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

The idea that MPS who leave office in disgrace could rake in thousands to help them pursue new ventures may prove controvers­ial with the public.

However, the committee appears only to suggest a shift in the allowance for those who lost their seats at the polls, rather than those who are forced to step down mid-term.

The committee also called for MPS to get “career coaching” while in office, to help them identify and articulate their skills and experience”.

Sir Charles warned that many of those leaving Westminste­r have a “really difficult time” finding new employment, as there is no “raging bull market for ex-members of Parliament”.

He said the public will not want to see “exhausted” MPS becoming “bed blockers”, sitting in safe seats for years because they are so “terrified” they cannot

‘What is meant to be the greatest Parliament in the world is falling well short by internatio­nal comparison­s’

find another job.

The Tory grandee said he would back the creation of a “Speaker’s Medallion for Parliament­ary Service” to celebrate the contributi­on MPS make to their country – something he said could be worn on “civic occasions”.

“It would be presented by the Speaker to former members of Parliament, with their families around them as a thank-you for their service,” he said.

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