CAROLINE Flack's devastated mum today slammed cops and the CPS for trying to "cover-up" their part in her daughter's death.

In an emotional statement, Christine Flack said the Love Island star, 40, was terrified of the "humiliation of a show trial" and the fear "drove her to death".


The heartbroken mum said in a joint statement with Caroline's twin sister, Jody: "We came here knowing, as the coroner found, that Caroline committed suicide and that this was driven by her fear of the humiliation she would face at a trial that should never have been going to happen."

She slammed the CPS and Metropolitan Police, saying they "came to this inquest to cover up their part in Caroline's death".

Caroline was pronounced dead on February 15, the day after she had learned the CPS was pursuing charges that she allegedly attacked her boyfriend Lewis Burton, 27.

Christine told how the coroner "struggled to see how the injury could be described as serious" and "there seemed to be a desire to punish Caroline" by pushing for a charge.

Her family have maintained she was only charged to be made an example of due to her celebrity status.

Christine blasted claims made by the CPS and police throughout the inquest as "not true", and slammed a Met Detective who "seemed amused at my distress today".

The grieving mum added: "I do not believe from what I heard from this individual that she treated Caroline fairly and had Caroline not been a celebrity this matter would have ended that night."

She paid a glowing tribute to her daughter, beloved by so many after appearing on hit TV shows.

Christine described the star as "beautiful; fun; opinionated; kind; loyal; full of confidence; and full of fears", before issuing a fierce warning to anyone who "pretended to love Caroline and took advantage of her kindness and they know who they are".

'A DESIRE TO PUNISH CAROLINE'

It comes after her emotional outburst at the inquest today, where she told the officer who pushed for a charge: "I see domestic abuse and I just think you should be disgusted with yourself.

"There is nothing we can do to bring Caroline back. I hope in hindsight you do regret this.

"This girl killed herself because you put an appeal through."

She also blasted the CPS, saying they "had it in for" Caroline.

The mum added: "I feel even more upset now than I did at the start. I'm not legal, but I have been reading up on this.

"I will never get Caroline back but she was not an abuser."

Christine thanked the coroner for allowing the family to ask questions during proceedings, adding they could "finally get answers to things that have been giving us sleepless nights".

A report from CPS prosecutor Alison Wright, read at the inquest earlier today, said police pushed to charge Caroline over the allegations.

She said officers claimed she took "a biased view of the case because Caroline Flack is a celebrity", after she initially wanted to issue a caution and they refused.

YOU'RE NOT ALONE

EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

  • CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
  • Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
  • Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
  • Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
  • Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123

Coroner Mary Hassell told DI Bateman, who applied for a formal charge: "(Her) family feel that she was being taught a lesson in a way that a non-celebrity would not have been – that this was motivated by treating a celebrity in a way that a non-celebrity would not have been treated."

DI Bateman insisted: "I would have done exactly the same if it had been anyone."

The TV star was said to be tormented by the thought of facing court in what her family slammed as a “show trial”.

After looking at documents from the police on their desire to charge Caroline, the coroner said: "It would be easy to gain an impression from this that for whatever reason Caroline isn't liked – 'She's a celebrity and she must be dealt with severely'."

The inquest was told this morning she wrote a note before she died, which read: "Please let this court case be dropped and myself and Lewis find harmony."

TRAGIC DEATH

Today, her family and legal representatives were part of a virtually held inquest into her death, with only a coroner and press physically present in court.

Coroner Mary Hassell ruled this afternoon Caroline died by suicide, and touched on her struggles with "mental ill health" and fears of losing her job.

She said: "In Caroline's case I am entirely satisfied she intended to cause her own death.

"She had only one expectation – her own death."

Chris wept as she heard the verdict, saying: "I totally agree, I think you got it spot on."

Caroline's suicide was the latest connected to Love Island, following the deaths of contestants Mike Thalassitis, 26, in March 2019 and Sophie Gradon, 32, in June 2018.

Miss Gradon's boyfriend Aaron Armstrong, 25, died three weeks after he found his girlfriend.

The Met Police has already referred itself to the police watchdog over its contact with Caroline before her death – which cops say is standard practice.

A CPS spokesman said: “Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Caroline Flack.

“It is normal practice for prosecutors to hold a debriefing in complex or sensitive cases after they have ended.

“This has taken place and found that the case was handled appropriately and in line with our published legal guidance.”

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans on (free) 116123


CHRISTINE AND JODY FLACK'S STATEMENT IN FULL:

Jody and I would like thank the Coroner for the intelligence and compassion she bought to these proceedings. She treated Caroline with dignity and respect and allowed us to ask questions and finally get answers to things that have been giving us sleepless nights ever since Caroline felt she had no choice but to take her life rather than face the humiliation of a show trial. 

We came here knowing, as the Coroner found, that Caroline committed suicide and that this was driven by her fear of the humiliation she would face at a trial that should never have been going to happen.

Before I comment further I would like to remind everyone that my daughter was beautiful; fun; opinionated; kind; loyal; full of confidence; and full of fears. She was like all of us and that is why she was loved by everyone who actually knew her. She did not hide from her mistakes and did not crow about her successes. Because she was successful and because she was so open about her life and her loves she became an easy target for cruel and spiteful people who if they knew the pain they caused would be ashamed. 

I fully appreciate that domestic violence needs to always be taken seriously but in this case a one off incident where minimal contact was made; a minor injury sustained; where the ‘victim’ did not wish to have the matter prosecuted; where my daughter sustained horrific self- harm injuries; and where the CPS rightly concluded that Caroline should be cautioned and the matter over – was turned into a living nightmare because (I believe) she was a celebrity who some felt needed to be made an example of (as opposed to being treated as anyone else would have been which is all Caroline wanted). I don’t believe Caroline was treated as anyone else would have been. 

Caroline always admitted that she had lashed out at Lewis (for reasons he knows) and that when she did that she had his phone in her hand. She never denied that contact and showed remorse. The initial decision to caution her would have been accepted by Caroline and she would have been alive today. CPS prosecutor Alison Wright did not believe charging Caroline was in the public interest as is clear from the evidence given to the Coroner she felt "She [Caroline] has repeatedly admitted she assaulted him,";  "I do not believe that the case is in the public interest to prosecute as the injured party does not support the allegation, there is no domestic violence history, the suspect is 40 with no previous convictions.”; "There is nothing so serious about this incident which means the guidelines (to issue a caution) need to be diverted from." This conclusion was (after all we have heard at this inquest) clearly correct. 

However, an individual who had not met Caroline, was not part of the investigation; and only got involved when overhearing another officer – made a decision to challenge the initial decision to caution Caroline based on a view which the Coroner has described as ‘splitting hairs’. That individual seemed to ignore the admissions Caroline made that night at the scene; took no notice the fact that she had seriously self-harmed and had spent hours in hospital before being interviewed; and sought to continue the nightmare for Caroline rather than following the CPS advice.  

Even in the face of knowing what happened to Caroline that individual claimed she would do the same and seemed amused at my distress today. I do not believe from what I heard from this individual that she treated Caroline fairly and had Caroline not been a celebrity this matter would have ended that night. 

As for the CPS their view changed from there being nothing serious about this incident to describing the injury sustained by Lewis as “serious”. As the pictures of that injury shows it was minor, so why did the CPS feel it necessary to justify their actions by claiming the injury was more than it was. As the Coroner said – she was struggling to see how the injury could be described as serious. The coroner also felt the CPS approach did not appear impartial and there seemed to be a desire to punish Caroline.

How else do you explain the decision to make a series of statements in Court in December of highly questionable accuracy: that Lewis Burton has been hit with a lamp (which was not true); that the scene looked like a horror movie (without making clear that this was because of Caroline’s blood not Lewis Burton’s); and that Mr Burton had sustained a serious injury (which is just not true). 

Both the CPS and the Police came to this inquest to cover up their part in Caroline’s death. The CPS claimed that Lewis Burton had not stated that the statements he made on the 999 call were untrue, but he did. They said that the "last communication" from the Caroline’s legal team that "specifically referred to her mental health" was Dr Garabette’s report made in December. This is not true. In January an Abuse application was made by Caroline’s lawyers which specifically set out further concerns for Caroline’s mental health and the pressure she was under. It referenced her self-harming and was the basis upon which it was said that the prosecution was not a proportionate response.

The Police tried to claim that Caroline did not admit hitting Lewis Burton and did not show remorse. But she did.

Why would the CPS and Police feel the need to make statements that were not correct? I believe because they know that the reason this was pursued in the way it was had everything to do with who Caroline was and not what she had done. They wanted a show trial. 

As the Coroner made clear: celebrities should not be treated better because of their status, but “they shouldn’t get any worse treatment than anyone else. The family feel very strongly that Caroline had different treatment than she would have had she not been a celebrity, and here you talk about remorse and you have accepted that remorse shouldn’t have been taken into account, but you did take into account…But as the prosecutor outlines, Caroline was 40, she had no previous convictions, she had no history of domestic violence, there was no history of violence between Caroline and Mr Burton, or that she had been violent towards anyone else…She had admitted the offence and she had asked her solicitor to write a letter admitting the offence, and in the view of the prosecutor, this was an entirely suitable case for a caution. You talk about it being a significant injury, but Mr Burton didn’t require any medical treatment. Caroline was the one required to go to hospital.”

Many people loved and supported Caroline, they know who they are and I thank them all. Many people pretended to love Caroline and took advantage of her kindness and they know who they are. Someone took a photo that night and sent it to another person who sold it to the press – and this devastated Caroline. You know what you did. 

Caroline you were loved. I love you. Those that would have harmed you can’t touch you now. 

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