Love Island star Caroline Flack left note for boyfriend Lewis Burton before tragic death

5 August 2020, 12:58

Caroline Flack died in February
Caroline Flack died in February. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Love Island star Caroline Flack left a note for her boyfriend before her death, saying she wanted to "find harmony" with him, an inquest has heard.

The 40-year-old, well known for hosting Love Island and The X Factor, was found hanged at her home in Stoke Newington, north-east London, on 15 February 2020.

She had been due to stand trial in March for assaulting her boyfriend, former tennis player and model Lewis Burton in December. She had denied all charges against her.

Poplar Coroner's Court was told a paramedic David O'Hoole found a note at the scene which said: "I hope me and Lewis can one day find harmony."

The inquest heard Stephen Teasdale, the father of Caroline's friend Louise, had gone to the property after Caroline's sister Jody phoned them to say she could not get access to her flat.

He said: "We came to the flat and tried to force entry. We thought about phoning the police but knew the landlady … We got the key and let ourselves into the flat."

Caroline previously appeared on Strictly Come Dancing and was a popular TV presenter
Caroline previously appeared on Strictly Come Dancing and was a popular TV presenter. Picture: PA

But when they gained access, they found Caroline hanged.

He said: "I brought her (down) and Jody started CPR. We were giving CPR for somewhere between five and ten minutes, then the police took over."

It was estimated she had already been dead for "a number of hours".

Speaking via videolink, her mother Chris and twin sister Jody outlined concerns they had about the presenter.

Flack's mother could be seen weeping on video link as her statement was read.

She said: "I believe Caroline was seriously let down by the authorities and in particular the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) for pursuing the case.

"I believe this was a show trial.

"I feel the prosecutor was unkind to Caroline and my family. I was threatened with arrest when I tried to speak.

An inquest was held at Poplar Coroner's Court
An inquest was held at Poplar Coroner's Court. Picture: PA

"There was disputed evidence in court. The result of the media attention of this hearing forced Caroline to leave her home which she loved.

"Being well known should not allow special treatment, but should not allow making an example of someone."

Twin sister Jody said she believed Flack tried to kill herself in December, ahead of her first appearance at the magistrates court for assault.

She said Flack was "in a very anxious state of mind" before her death and said an ambulance had been called for her four times previously.

She said: "Heartbreak is something Caroline found extremely difficult.=

"She attempted to take her own life the night before she appeared in court. I believe the shame ... was too much to deal with."

Brian Wells, a doctor called to Flack's hotel room the night before her court appearance, said Flack was inebriated and had apparently "taken a small overdose". However, she was not suicidal, nor did she need hospital treatment, the inquest heard.

Flack's sister added: "She was called a 'killer' and an 'abuser' on the front of the newspapers.

"The press and the public found this a very entertaining angle, and was spiralling out of control.

"Her life and reputation she worked hard to build was falling apart ... because of a false accusation.

"It was our belief it would not be happening to her if she wasn't in the public eye.

"At worst, her career and reputation, so precious to her, had been taken away."

She said sections of the press were "hounding her" and had paid the neighbours to inform them on her movements.

Ms Flack said: "Caroline spent the last few months of her life hiding inside, scared of the abuse.

"Caroline seemed very sad the day before her death - she seemed to have lost her fight."

If you need support or emotional support please ring Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org.

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