Cop stands by request to put tragic Caroline Flack in dock

Brenda Watkins
August 7, 2020

Caroline Flack's death has been ruled a suicide following an inquest.

A court heard how the assault charge against Flack was initially going to be dealt with as a caution until the Metropolitan Police appealed the prosecutor's decision.

The 40-year-old Love Island host took her own life in her London flat in February after it was confirmed she would face trial for an alleged assault on her boyfriend, Lewis Burton.

Flack's family have accused police and prosecutors of singling her out because of her celebrity status when they charged her with assaulting boyfriend Lewis Burton as he slept in December 2019.

It said: "Ms Flack was naked and covered in blood, apparently from cuts to her left wrist".

The inquest heard Flack told police officers when they arrived at the scene of the alleged assault in December: "I hit him (Mr Burton), he was cheating on me", PA reported.

But Ms Bateman said this confession became "unclear" after she was arrested and said she only "tapped" Mr Burton with the phone.

Ms Hassell said Ms Flack had killed herself after an "exacerbation and fluctuation" of ill health and distress.

Miss Grosberg said the medics had asked Miss Flack if she had attempted suicide but she insisted she had not, telling them she just "had a headache".

Although the coroner thought DI Bateman was "splitting hairs" with what she considered an admission, the officer responded: "In my view, it wasn't a clear admission of what had happened".

Det Insp Bateman said a senior lawyer had to make the final decision whether or not a caution was insufficient, and in her opinion a caution for the sort of offence was not in line with guidance.

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However, it was decided it was in the public interest to authorise a charge of assault by beating, particularly considering the domestic violence allegation.

He said: "She was very upset, in fact devastated, she was not in a good place emotionally".

Meanwhile, in today's inquest, it was revealed that one of the paramedic crew found a handwritten letter placed on the coffee table at Flack's home.

Weeping, Flack's mother Chris Flack told the coroner via videolink: "I totally agree, I think you got it spot on". If it was an ordinary person, you wouldn't have been bothered.

Prosecutor Ms Ramsarran said the CPS looked at Flack's mental health when the case was first reviewed, including evidence that the television personality self-harmed at the crime scene when she allegedly assaulted Mr Burton.

Flack's death prompted an outpouring of sorrow from celebrity friends, colleagues and fans, who referenced one of the former Strictly winner's social media posts from December in which she urged people to "be kind".

In her findings on Thursday, coroner Mary Hassell said Flack meant to kill herself and had "fluctuating mental ill health, she had had struggles in the past" and these troubles only increased as she got more famous.

Ms Bateman said: "I was not biased and I treat everyone the same".

The inquest is due to conclude later.

Miss Gradon's boyfriend Aaron Armstrong, 25, died three weeks after he found his girlfriend had died.

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