ICYMI: Met rapist and strikes – this week’s five biggest stories, explained

Things can be a bit grim in January.

Christmas is over, it’s still dark and cold outside and you’re on your third round of ‘I’ll start eating healthily next week’.

Now the news has never been one to cheer people up, so we’re not about to try and get you to keep reading on that basis.

We are, however, going to convince you that speaking about current affairs will still be more stimulating than chatting about your aunt’s diet for this year.

We’re also going to slip in some subtle guilt-tripping and remind you that important stuff is happening and it needs our attention.

Lastly, we’re going to make a prediction and you will have to read until the end of this piece to know whether journalists at Metro.co.uk are actually psychic (we are).

Our prophecy: You will feel like pizza in a few minutes.

Met Police rapist

A Metropolitan police officer has been outed as one of the worst sexual offenders in modern history.

David Carrick, 48, has admitted to more than 70 sex attacks on 12 women over the course of nearly 20 years between 2003 and 2020.

He was arrested in October 2021 after one victim reported he had raped her.

Though the victim did not pursue charges, news of Carrick’s arrest jolted 12 other women to come forward with accusations.

Since then, horrific details have come out about how he treated his victims.

Women were locked in a small cupboard under the stairs in Carrick’s Hertfordshire home for hours without food or forced to clean his house naked.

He whipped one woman with a belt, urinated on some of his victims and told them when they could eat and sleep.

One victim told how she was only allowed to eat two protein bars a day because Carrick wanted to keep her weak for ‘what he would do to her later’.

It has been determined that Scotland Yard missed nine chances to get rid of him over the two decades he abused his position.

Two decades of failing to act by police

Care-free David Carrick posing for a photo while on holiday (Picture: Facebook)

As Met police officer David Carrick faces a lengthy jail sentence after carrying out sex attacks on a dozen women, here are some of the key events in the case:

1996-1997: Carrick serves in the British Army.

2000: He is a suspect in two offences reported to the Met involving allegations of malicious communications and burglary against
a former partner after refusing to accept the end of their relationship. Carrick is not arrested and no further action is taken.

August 2001: Carrick joins the Met. After training he works as a response officer based in Merton, south-west London.

2002: While still in his two-year probationary period, Carrick is accused of harassment and assault against a former partner. He is not arrested by the Met and no further action is taken. The matter is not referred to the Directorate of Professional Standards.

2002: Carrick is the subject of the first of five public complaints made between 2002 and 2008. Two allegations that he had been rude were dealt with by management action locally, while three relating to incivility and use of force were withdrawn or dismissed.

2003: His first known victim is repeatedly raped.

2004: Carrick rapes a 57-year-old woman.

2004: Carrick is involved in a domestic incident but no criminal allegations are made to the Met, he is not arrested and the matter is not referred to the Directorate of Professional Standards.

July 2005: The officer is now based in Barnet, north London.

2006-2009: On multiple occasions, the officer rapes a woman, who he abuses, threatens with violence and demeans. Because of his job, she fears that she will not be believed if she reports him.

2009: Carrick is transferred to what is now the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command, where his role involves providing an armed policing presence at parliamentary, government and diplomatic premises.

2009: Hertfordshire Police receive a domestic abuse report from a third party involving Carrick but neither party makes a complaint and no charge is brought. Hertfordshire Police inform his Met supervisors.

2009: Carrick meets his next victim, a 51-year-old woman, who he sexually assaults after a social evening.

August 2009: He sexually assaults a 47-year-old woman after sharing a hotel room following a social event.

November 2009: Carrick invites a 57-year-old woman back to his home, becomes aggressive and then tries to rape her.

November 2015: Carrick rapes a 45-year-old woman.

2016: Carrick is a suspect in a Hampshire Police investigation following an allegation of harassment. He is not arrested and the investigation is later closed.

October 2016: Carrick repeatedly rapes and sexually abuses a woman he met online, in some cases causing injuries and urinating over her.

2017: Carrick should have been vetted after ten years of service but is only now re-vetted. He passes.

2017: Carrick is spoken to by Thames Valley Police officers after he is thrown out of a Reading nightclub for being drunk. He is not arrested and the matter is not referred to the Met.

March 2017: Carrick meets a woman on a night out, who he goes on to rape multiple times and sexually abuse. She later describes him as totally controlling and aggressive and says he regularly urinated in her mouth, humiliated her and threatened her with violence.

2017: Carrick meets a 31-year-old woman on an online dating site, who later tells how he raped her in the shower after dragging her in by her hair. She also describes being whipped with a belt and suffocated during sex.

July 2018: Carrick meets a 41-year-old woman online, who he sexually assaults while she cleans his bathroom.

2019: Hertfordshire Police receive a third party report of assault and criminal damage involving an argument between Carrick and a woman during a domestic incident. He is said to have grabbed her by the neck.

Neither party are supportive of police involvement and no further action is taken after the case is looked at by the force’s domestic abuse unit.

The incident is referred to the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards and Carrick is given words of advice in relation to informing his chain of command about off-duty incidents. It is determined he has no case to answer in relation to misconduct.

July 2020: Carrick meets a woman on an online dating site who he goes on to rape, causing her injuries. He is verbally and physically aggressive, urinates on her and uses sex toys against her will.

July 2021: The woman reports being raped by Carrick. He is arrested by Hertfordshire Police over the allegation but no further action is taken after she withdraws the complaint. The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards is made aware and Carrick is placed on restricted duties. It is determined he has no case to answer in relation to any misconduct and in September the restriction is lifted, although he never returns to full duties.

October 1, 2021: A 50-year-old woman reports she was raped by Carrick in September 2020. He is arrested, charged and suspended by the Met.

October 4: Carrick is remanded in custody after appearing at Westminster magistrates’ court charged with rape.

October 2021-October 2022: The publicity prompts another 12 women to come forward and make allegations against Carrick.

December 16 2022: Carrick pleads guilty to 43 offences at the Old Bailey. His pay is stopped by the Met.

January 16, 2023: Carrick admits a further six charges at Southwark Crown Court.

Carrick used his position as a police officer to gain his victims’ trust and convinced them they would not be believed if they reported him, Southwark Crown Court heard.

Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley has apologised, saying: ‘I think we’ve failed over two decades to be as ruthless as we ought to be in guarding our own integrity.’

The force is now set to review 1,633 cases of alleged sexual and domestic abuse involving 1,071 of its officers to make sure appropriate decisions were made.

All 45,000 Met officers and staff are to be rechecked for any overlooked offending.

It’s been cold

It wouldn’t be a news cycle in Britain without a weather story and this week has certainly come through for all our nervous, small-talk needs.

In other words, it snowed!

On Monday, Brits woke up to the white stuff in both the north and the south of the country.

Met Office meteorologist Craig Snell said the cold conditions moved in from the Arctic over the weekend.

It got so cold that a health warning was issued by the UK Health Security Agency, who urged people to stay warm.



Pensioners and those with pre-existing medical conditions were been advised to heat their homes to at least 18°C.

This week has not really been a good time for energy bills in the UK to be the most expensive on the planet – but let’s not force the Government to focus on pedantic.

Drivers were warned to only travel if ‘absolutely necessary’ after the weather led to a surge in accidents and dozens of crashes were reported.

This cold spell is expected to come to an end this weekend which is set to bring in milder temperatures – but with rain and wind.

This is not entirely related, but we thought it would be useful to add that spring starts on March 20.

TL;DR: 58 days to go until spring.

Strikes

Over the past few months, strikes have become as much a part of British culture as the weather and queuing.

Monday and Thursday were hit with Abellio bus services in London, after multiple walkouts last December and even earlier this month.

December also saw nurses belonging to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) stage industrial action for the first time in the union’s 106-year history over pay and improved patient safety.

A deal has still not been struck and nurses in England walked out again on Wednesday and Thursday.

Union bosses have since announced new strike dates for nurses on February 6 and 7, with more NHS trusts taking part than ever before.


Multiple primary and secondary school teachers in Scotland also went on strike over pay – for the entire week. Teachers are set to join the picket line again on Monday.

On Tuesday, thousands of nurses, paramedics, railway staff, and bus drivers all joined arms to march on Downing Street in protest against a new Bill that could see workers sacked for striking.

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The new legislation would see the right to strike restricted by imposing minimum service levels.

Under the draft Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill, bosses would be legally able to fire employees who ignore a ‘work notice’ ordering them to work on days of industrial action.

Secretary of state for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Grant Shapps on Monday argued in the House of Commons for the need to establish minimum service and safety levels for vital public services.

But the general secretary of the TUC trade union federation, Paul Nowak, told demonstrators gathered in downtown London that he will defend the right to strike tooth and nail.

He said: ‘Make no mistake: this bill is a fundamental attack on the right to strike that will force workers across the public sector to cross picket lines or face the sack.’

TL;DR: Strikes, strikes, strikes

Rishi Sunak

The prime minister is currently in trouble for not wearing a seatbelt in the back of a car.

And if that isn’t the funniest news alert you’ve received this week, then we’d like to draw your attention to the fact that he got busted for this during one of his own promo videos.

In all seriousness, not wearing a seatbelt is illegal – obviously – and people can face fines of up to £500 for it.

A fine is on its way to No 10 after Mr Sunak apologised for the ‘mistake’.

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His spokesperson said: ‘It was an error of judgment, he removed it for a short period of time to film a clip, which you’ve seen, but he accepts that was a mistake.’

Naturally, opposition parties have jumped on the bandwagon and will certainly make sure to strap themselves into it.

Labour fired shots with: ‘Rishi Sunak doesn’t know how to manage a seatbelt, his debit card, a train service, the economy, this country.

‘This list is growing every day, and it’s making for endless painful viewing.’

Lib Dem deputy leader Daisy Cooper added: ‘The fact he’s breaking a basic law is just embarrassing and frankly dangerous.’

TL;DR: To be fair, the Tories have always struggled to know which laws apply to them.

The world’s biggest pizza

A world record attempt is underway to create the world’s largest ever pizza – complete with 68,000 slices.

An army of chefs come together at the Los Angels Convention centre to create the delicious display.

To begin with, large rectangular slices of dough were stretched over the hall to provide the base for the pizza.

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Tomato sauce was then been ‘painted’ over the surface before cheese and pepperoni were scattered on top.

Once finished, the pizza will cover 14,101 square feet of space and dish out 68,000 slices.

Pizza Hut, behind the world record attempt, confirmed that no food will be wasted, with local foodbanks to benefit.

TL;DR: Told you we’re psychic.

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