Police to reinvestigate decision to charge Caroline Flack as ‘new evidence may be available’

Caroline Flack’s mother says ‘we won’t stop until we get the truth’

Ellie Iorizzo
Thursday 11 April 2024 08:33 BST
TV presenter Caroline Flack found dead aged 40

The Metropolitan Police will reinvestigate the lead-up to the decision to charge TV presenter Caroline Flack as “new witness evidence may be available”, the force said.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) recommended that the former Love Island presenter receive a caution following an incident with her boyfriend, Lewis Burton, in December 2019.

But this was overturned after an appeal from the Met Police, and she was instead charged with assault by beating.

Flack was found dead in February 2020 at the age of 40.

A coroner later ruled she took her own life after learning that prosecutors were going to press ahead with an assault charge.

The Met has now said it is making “further enquiries” into potential new witness evidence relating to the actions of officers in appealing the initial CPS decision not to charge Flack.

Caroline Flack celebrates 90th Anniversary of JW Marriott Grosvenor House London on 30 April 2019 in London, England
Caroline Flack celebrates 90th Anniversary of JW Marriott Grosvenor House London on 30 April 2019 in London, England (Dave Benett/Getty Images for JW )

The TV star’s mother, Christine Flack, told the Mirror: “We won’t stop until we get the truth. Something very unusual happened to Carrie at the police station that night, but no one kept a proper record explaining why.

“I have now made a complaint to compel the officer to give the ­statement we think he should have given four years ago. As a family, we have been left with important ­unanswered questions.”

A statement from the Met said: “On Thursday, March 7, we referred a complaint from Caroline Flack’s family to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

“The IOPC decided the majority of the matters had previously been dealt with and no further action was required.

“The IOPC returned one aspect of the complaint back to the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) to consider further.

“This relates to the actions of officers in appealing an initial decision by the Crown Prosecution Service not to charge Ms Flack, and because new witness evidence may be available.

“DPS officers are now making further enquiries in relation to this.”

Caroline Flack and partner Lewis Burton leaving a restaurant
Caroline Flack and partner Lewis Burton leaving a restaurant (Mark R Milan/Shutterstock)

A spokesperson for the IOPC said: “On the basis there may be new witness evidence available, we returned one aspect of the complaint back to the Met to investigate.

“This relates to the actions of officers in appealing an initial decision by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) not to charge Ms Flack. The CPS subsequently reconsidered its advice and authorised a criminal charge.”

This is not the first investigation into the handling of Flack’s case.

The Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) previously found there was no misconduct, which led Ms Flack’s family to escalate their concerns to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

The IOPC, a police watchdog, ordered the Met to reinvestigate complaints relating to the process involved in appealing against the CPS decision, while it carried out a review of the Met’s decision to charge her.

It “did not identify any misconduct” by the force; however, the IOPC asked the Met to apologise to Flack’s family for not recording its reason for appealing against the original CPS decision.

At the time, Flack’s mother, Christine, rejected the apology.

The decision to reinvestigate the lead-up to the decision to charge Ms Flack comes after it was announced that British singer Olly Murs will headline Flackstock when the festival returns for its third year on July 22.

Twins Jody and Caroline Flack with their mother Christine in Norfolk, 1980s
Twins Jody and Caroline Flack with their mother Christine in Norfolk, 1980s (Channel 4/Flack family)

The event, held in honour of the late TV presenter, will also see stars including All Saints singer Shaznay Lewis, The X Factor star Rebecca Ferguson, Scottish music artist Tom Walker, The One And Only singer Chesney Hawkes and band NewDad perform.

Money raised from the festival will be split equally between charities Choose Love, Mind, Samaritans and Charlie Waller Trust.

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