Met Police says there is no need to investigate officers over Caroline Flack’s death after watchdog ruled there was no ‘causal link’ between their actions and the tragedy
- Flack, 40, killed herself just one day after finding out the CPS was pursuing case
- Her boyfriend Lewis Burton, aged 27, has said he ‘never supported’ a prosecution
- In the days after her death her management team described her as ‘vulnerable’
The Metropolitan Police has said today there is no need to investigate officers over Caroline Flack’s death after the watchdog said there was no ‘causal link’ between their actions and the tragedy.
Officers last had contact with the 40-year-old television presenter on December 13, 2019 when she was in custody following an alleged assault.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said there was ‘no indication of a causal link – directly or indirectly – between the actions or omissions of the police and Caroline Flack’s tragic death’.
The Love Island host killed herself on February 15 just one day after she found out the Crown Prosecution Service was pursuing a court case against her.
The Met made a mandatory referral to IOPC in the wake of her death, but has confirmed today that no formal investigation is needed in to officers’ contact with late TV presenter.
Caroline Flack pictured leaving Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court in North London in December 2019
A statement from the Met Police today said: ‘On Wednesday, 19 February the Metropolitan Police Service made a mandatory referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct following the death of Caroline Flack.
‘The referral was made following a review by the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) of all previous police contact with Ms Flack.
‘This is standard practice when a member of the public dies or is seriously injured and has had recent contact with police.
‘The IOPC, having independently assessed the circumstances, has informed the MPS and Ms Flack’s family that an IOPC investigation is not required.
‘The IOPC said it does not consider it reasonable or proportionate based on the evidence provided to suggest officer involvement caused or contributed to Ms Flack’s death.
‘The IOPC has referred the matter back to the MPS for the DPS to decide whether any further investigation or review into the circumstances is needed.
‘The DPS has concluded that a formal investigation is not required. A comprehensive review of the circumstances surrounding all police contact with Ms Flack following her arrest and detention has already taken place as part of the referral process.
The decision follows criticism over the CPS’s handling of the case, including from Flack’s boyfriend Lewis Burton (pictured together) who said he ‘never supported’ a prosecution
‘No conduct has been identified on the part of any officer. In line with normal processes, if any new information should come to light it will be considered and action taken as appropriate.’
Full Independent Office For Police Conduct statement
Having considered a mandatory referral from the Metropolitan Police (MPS), we decided the matter did not require investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct because there was no indication of a causal link – directly or indirectly – between the actions or omissions of the police and Caroline Flack’s tragic death.
The referral outlined police contact prior to her death.
MPS officers last had contact with Ms Flack on 13 December 2019, when she was in custody, nearly two months before her death.
While in custody on 13 December, officers arranged for her to see a health care professional and relevant policy and procedure was followed to give her further guidance.
On this basis, we have returned this referral to the MPS’ Department for Professional Standards for them to deal with the matter in whatever manner they decide.
However there will now be ‘a post-case review panel conducted by a deputy chief crown prosecutor’ to determine whether it should have pursued the case, a freedom of information request has revealed.
It follows criticism over the CPS’s handling of the case, including from Flack’s boyfriend Lewis Burton who said he ‘never supported’ a prosecution.
A spokesman for the CPS told the Mirror: ‘The review will look at the general CPS handling of the case and, obviously, the decisions behind charging is part of that.’
In the days after her death Flack’s management team described her as ‘vulnerable’ and criticised the CPS for pushing ahead with the case despite her boyfriend Lewis Burton saying he did not want to press charges.
He had said she hit him with a lamp at her former home in Islington in December and as part of her bail conditions the pair were banned from contacting each other.
But he later spoke out in defence of Flack, saying she has become the subject of a ‘witch hunt’ following her arrest.
A member of Flack’s management team said the CPS should ‘look at themselves’ and how they pursued a trial ‘without merit’ which resulted in ‘significant distress to Caroline’.
The saga surrounding her court case saw her ‘step down’ from hosting Love Island.
The Love Island host (pictured) killed herself on February 15 just one day after she found out the Crown Prosecution Service was pursuing the court case against her
Friends of the presenter, who was paid a £1.2million salary for Love Island, said she had been terrified of her impending court date. ‘She was on her own. She couldn’t take it anymore. Her family are devastated,’ one friend told The Mirror.
Another added: ‘Caroline couldn’t bear the thought of going through the court case. She felt her career would never recover from this – and she felt humiliated in front of the world. In the end she just couldn’t see a way out. She didn’t know how to fix herself.’
Flack’s friends were said to be furious that the CPS pursued the presenter’s prosecution despite Burton making it clear he did not want the case to go to trial as there had been no serious injury.
Her management criticised the CPS in a statement. Francis Ridley, of Money Talent Management, said: ‘We are devastated at the loss of our client and friend Caroline Flack.
‘The Crown Prosecution Service pursued this when they knew not only how very vulnerable Caroline was but also that the alleged victim did not support the prosecution and had disputed the CPS version of events.
‘The CPS should look at themselves today and how they pursued a show trial that was not only without merit but not in the public interest. And ultimately resulted in significant distress to Caroline. Our thoughts are with Caroline’s family at this time.
‘An immensely talented young woman who was at the top of her game professionally and loved by television viewers across the country. In recent months Caroline had been under huge pressure because of an ongoing case and potential trial which has been well reported.’
The CPS told MailOnline in a statement at the time: ‘Our deepest sympathies go to the family and friends of Caroline Flack. Given the tragic circumstances, we will not comment on the specifics of this case at this stage.’
For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details.
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