A Metropolitan police officer has been remanded in custody on Monday after denying a rape allegation in court.
The hearing came as Britain’s criminal justice system is under pressure to prosecute rape allegations more aggressively in the wake of Sarah Everard’s abduction, rape, and murder in March by then-serving Met officer Wayne Couzens.
Met officer David Carrick, 46, who serves in the parliamentary and diplomatic protection command, where Couzens also served, appeared in court on Monday over one court of rape following an alleged attack, a charge he “emphatically” denied.
According to media reports, Carrick is alleged to have taken a woman, who he met on a dating app in August 2020, back to a Premier Inn after visiting two pubs in a Hertfordshire town.
The alleged attack is said to have taken place the following morning.
Carrick was arrested on Oct. 2 by Hertfordshire Constabulary and remanded in custody.
The Met suspended him on the same day.
Authorising the charging of Carrick on Sunday, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the alleged assault was on the night of Sept. 4, 2020.
He was charged under “the threshold test,” a testing regime the CPS uses in some “limited circumstances” to decide whether it’s justifiable to charge suspects when the usual “full code test” is not met.
Carrick appeared at St Albans Magistrates’ Court on Monday by videolink from a police station in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, wearing a white collared shirt, and spoke only to confirm his identity.
Defending Carrick, Ryan Dowding confirmed his client had been suspended from duty and said, “He emphatically denies the allegations.”
Carrick was remanded in custody after the hearing and is due to appear in court again on Nov. 1.
Hertfordshire Constabulary said on Sunday that specially trained officers were supporting the alleged victim.
Malcolm McHaffie, the CPS chief crown prosecutor of Thames and Chiltern, reminded “all concerned” on Sunday of the defendant’s right to a fair trial.
As Couzens—Everard’s killer—was handed a life sentence on Thursday, the high-profile case has sparked a fresh round of debates on police vetting, women’s safety, and the criminal justice system, with the response to rape allegations “often lack[ing] focus, clarity, and commitment,” according to a watchdog report published in July.
The report said the inspectors of the police and the Crown Prosecution Service “were told time and again that these cases were difficult to investigate, difficult to prosecute, difficult to explain to victims, and difficult for juries to understand.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the BBC on Sunday that his government will “stop at nothing to get more rapists behind bars.”
Asked to comment on the allegation against Carrick, Johnson said on Monday that he couldn’t comment on ongoing cases.
“That will clearly have to go through [the courts],” the prime minister told broadcasters at a Network Rail site in Manchester.
PA contributed to this report.