Caroline Flack's mother rejects apology from Met Police

‘It just seems wrong’ Caroline Flack’s mother rejects apology from Met Police over how it handled complaints she made to force about daughter’s treatment before her suicide

  • Love Island presenter, 40, took her own life in her London flat in February 2020 

Caroline Flack’s mother has refused to accept the Met Police’s apology over how it handled an assault charge against her daughter before her suicide.

The Love Island presenter, 40, took her own life in her London flat in February 2020 after learning prosecutors would press ahead with the charge over an incident involving her boyfriend, Lewis Burton.

Last month, the Met told Caroline’s family it was ‘sincerely sorry’ for failing to keep full records about why it wanted the Love Island host to face prosecution. 

But speaking on Newsnight, her mother Christine said she did not accept that apology, adding: ‘It just seems wrong. They haven’t said why there were no notes taken, why nothing was recorded. I don’t know whether they’re covering something.’

Asked if she thought her daughter would still be alive if the caution had remained and Caroline had not been charged, she told the flagship BBC programme: ‘I do, I really do.’

Caroline Flack (pictured in 2019) was accused of assault following an argument with her partner, Lewis Burton

The Met apologised to Caroline’s mother, Christine, for failing to keep full records about why it wanted the Love Island host to be charged with assault. Last night she rejected the apology

‘Once all the pictures came out in the newspapers and things were written about her on social media – they just picked up the bad. 

‘There was a lot of good, but Caroline wasn’t reading the good – she was only reading the bad.

‘She lost her job straight away, without even being found guilty or going to court. She had another series axed.’

Christine said she would campaign for a fuller apology from the Met. 

She added that her greatest regret was not speaking out in the hours after her daughter’s arrest to correct what she claimed were ‘lies” printed by the press.

‘Things that went into the press that she hit someone with a lamp or a fan – that was just totally untrue,’ she said. 

‘And nobody ever came out and said, ‘No, that didn’t happen.” 

Caroline Flack enjoying an evening out with her mother Christine 

The Met’s apology followed an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct into Christine’s concerns.

The force pressed for her to face a charge of assault by beating, despite the Crown Prosecution Service recommending she receive only a caution.   

An inquest recorded a conclusion of suicide after hearing how Flack’s mental health had deteriorated with the case in the media spotlight.

Christine launched a formal complaint against the Met, prompting the force to investigate the decision to pursue charges against the celebrity.

Her grievance largely related to her claim that Detective Inspector Lauren Bateman decided to appeal the CPS decision without reviewing key pieces of evidence . 

DI Bateman also did not discuss the case with alleged victim Mr Burton.

Scotland Yard initially concluded that it had done no wrong, prompting Christine to escalate her concerns to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

The IOPC wrote to Christine with the results of its inquiries.

Flack allegedly assaulted her boyfriend Lewis Burton at her home in December 2019

It ruled that her daughter had not received different treatment due to her celebrity status, but criticised the Met for its handling of her complaint.

The findings prompted Chief Superintendent Andy Carter, the Met Police’s borough commander for central north London, to write to Christine and apologise.

His letter outlined a number of measures that had been brought in to improve how officers went about appealing CPS decisions.

The Met said: ‘Our thoughts and sympathies remain with Ms Flack’s family for their loss and we are sorry for the impact this has had on them.

‘When a person is arrested they can be held in custody for a period of up to 24 hours to allow officers time to gather evidence and investigate the alleged offence.

‘A review by the Independent Office for Police Conduct did not identify any misconduct in relation to the handling of Ms Flack’s arrest, however, it concluded that an officer involved in the investigation should receive reflective practice.’

The 40-year-old took her own life two months after being arrested on suspicion of assault in December 2019

Flack had allegedly assaulted her boyfriend Lewis Burton with a phone in her home in December 2019. 

He called emergency services, but later withdrew his complaint and said she ‘was not in a good place emotionally’.

Coroner Mary Hassell told the inquest into her death in Poplar coroner’s Court, east London, that Flack did ‘intend to cause her own death’.

She added: ‘I find the reason for her taking her life was she now knew she was being prosecuted for certainty and she knew she would face the media, press, publicity – it would all come down upon her.’ 

Watch the Newsnight interview in full at 10.30pm on BBC Two or on BBC iPlayer 

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