Watchdog orders Met to reinvestigate Caroline Flack prosecution after complaint from mum

14 February 2022, 08:00 | Updated: 14 February 2022, 09:13

Caroline Flack took her own life at the age of 40 in February 2020
Caroline Flack took her own life at the age of 40 in February 2020. Picture: Alamy

By Patrick Grafton-Green

The Metropolitan Police has been told to reinvestigate a complaint by Caroline Flack's mother that her daughter was treated differently by the force due to her fame.

The Love Island presenter took her own life after learning prosecutors were going to press ahead with an assault charge over an incident involving her boyfriend, Lewis Burton.

She died at the age of 40 in February 2020.

Her mother, Christine Flack, still wants to know why her daughter was charged with the assault - despite prosecutors initially saying she should be given a caution.

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The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has instructed the Met to reinvestigate this aspect of an old complaint, a police spokesman said.

"I just want those answers to make me feel better and to make me know that I've done the right thing by Caroline," Mrs Flack told the BBC.

She added: "It leaves us really sad and really angry because we want to know why they charged her.

"I just want the truth out there. I know it won't bring her back but I've got to do it for her."

Asked if she feels the decision to charge her daughter contributed to her death, Mrs Flack said: "Oh, totally. Totally. She couldn't see a way out."

She said she has now lost trust in the force, continuing: "There's no trust at all. No trust at all. I just want the truth out there.

"And it won't bring her back. I know it won't bring her back. But I've got to do it for her."

Flack found out the day before her death that she would be prosecuted with the charge that she hit Burton with her phone while he slept over concerns he had been cheating on her.

Friends said she was expecting the case to be dropped after her lawyers applied for it to be thrown out.

Coroner Mary Hassell found Flack killed herself because she knew she was being prosecuted and could not face the press coverage.

Mrs Flack had accused the police and prosecutors of having it "in for" her daughter, accusing them of taking her to court due to her "celebrity status".

The Met Police spokesman said: "Following a review, the IOPC agreed with the MPS that service was acceptable in relation to seven areas of the complaints relating to the response and handling of the incident by the MPS.

"The IOPC has directed the MPS to reinvestigate one element of the complaints. This relates to the process involved in appealing the CPS decision to caution Ms Flack.

"We will re-examine this element of the investigative process.

"Our thoughts and sympathies remain with Caroline's family."

Anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org in the UK.