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Statement from the Solicitor General on the case of David Carrick

See below for a statement from the Solicitor General, Michael Tomlinson KC MP, on the case of David Carrick.

“David Carrick’s crimes were abhorrent, and the scale of his offending over so many years, and against so many women, will stay in our minds for years to come.

“The fact he acted with apparent impunity – as though his status as a serving police officer made him untouchable – is a particularly disturbing factor.

“Because of the strong feelings this case evokes, it came as little surprise that I received so many referrals under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme to consider the term of 32 years minus time served handed to Carrick .

“I have received full and detailed legal advice and considered the issues raised very carefully and concluded Carrick’s case cannot properly be referred to the Court of Appeal.

“Such a referral can only be made if the legal test is met, irrespective of the seriousness of the offending or the emotions the offending may evoke in all of us. But my duty as a Law Officer in considering whether sentences may be unduly lenient is to act quasi-judicially and independently of government, even when it is not easy or popular.

“At sentence, Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb described the “irretrievable devastation” Carrick has wrought on the women who were victims of his sickening offences, and I am satisfied that she gave careful and detailed consideration to all the features of this case. These include the seriously aggravating factor that David Carrick was a serving police officer and the impact of his horrendous crimes on public confidence in policing, particularly in relation to cases of rape and sexual violence.

“She also had to consider the guilty pleas that were entered by David Carrick and the reduction in sentence guilty pleas attract.

“The threshold for referral is a high one, and that was not met in this case. It is only met if the sentencing judge made a gross error or imposed a sentence outside the range reasonably available in the circumstances of the offending.

“My thoughts remain with the offender’s victims, and everybody affected by his despicable acts.”


  • More information on the ULS scheme, including who can refer and for what reasons, can be found on our website: Ask for a Crown Court sentence to be reviewed - GOV.UK (
  • Anyone can ask for a sentence to be reviewed - you do not have to be involved in the case.
  • Examples of exceptional circumstances that can lead to a referral under the ULS scheme include if the sentencing judge made a gross error or imposed a sentence
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