Caroline Flack inquest: ‘No doubt' presenter meant to take own life

Caroline Flacks picture from the night of her arrest was leaked by her boyfriend

Chris Flack said her daughter killed herself as a effect of Detective Inspector Lauren Bateman's personal decision to appeal against the plan to hand the former Love Island host a caution for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend, Lewis Burton.

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 inquest heard prosecutor Kate Weiss reviewed the decision to charge Flack a week after the assault.

But Flack's mother Chris Flack wiped away tears on video link as her statement was read to Poplar Coroner's Court on Wednesday.

"Although she made some admissions at the scene, things were said differently (in interview)".

"In my opinion it was unclear what Caroline was alluding to".

Coroner Mary Hassell ruled her death was suicide.

DI Bateman replied: "In my view, it wasn't a clear admission of what had happened".

But her inquest was told prosecutors had initially made a decision to let her off with a caution, until the police intervened and asked for the case to be reconsidered.

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.

She hanged herself in February 2020.

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

Anxious friends attended her flat and called for an ambulance, which Flack refused.

The CPS - based on this evidence - cautioned Ms. Flack for assault, but Scotland Yard then urged them to seek prosecution.

According to London's Evening Standard newspaper, Flack's mother Christine and twin sister Jody told the inquest the star was "devastated" in the days leading up to her death after learning Burton had sent a bloody image from her arrest to an ex-girlfriend - an image that subsequently appeared on the front page of British newspaper The Sun.

The presenter's mother Chris told the court she thought her daughter had been "seriously let down by the authorities and in particular the CPS for pursuing the case".

"I don't believe Caroline was treated as anyone else would have been".

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

The TV star had been subject to much scrutiny in the press and on social media following her arrest and initial court appearance in December 2019.

The coroner was told that as despite Mr Burton pleading with the CPS to drop the case, Miss Flack was told the trial would go ahead increasing concern amongst her family for her mental state.

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

Burton had said he did not want Flack to be prosecuted.

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.

No members of Flack's friends and family were present for the two-day hearing.



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