Caroline Flack’s mother rejects Met Police apology

Caroline Flack – Matt Crossick/PA

The mother of Caroline Flack has rejected an apology from the Metropolitan Police over its handling of a complaint she made following her daughter’s suicide.

The force said last month that it was “sincerely sorry” for failing to keep records detailing why it pressed for Flack to be charged with assaulting her boyfriend.

Flack, 40, took her own life on Feb 15, 2020, when she was facing a court appearance on charges of assaulting her partner, Lewis Burton.

The Met had pursued the charges of assault by beating, despite the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) recommending that Ms Flack receive only a caution.

Following her daughter’s death, Christine Flack lodged a complaint against the force, claiming that it had appealed the CPS decision without reviewing key pieces of evidence or discussing the case with alleged victim, Mr Burton. Last month, the force apologised.

Caroline Flack

Caroline Flack

However, Mrs Flack rejected the apology on Monday. Speaking to BBC Newsnight’s Victoria Derbyshire, she said: “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.”

When asked if she thought her daughter would still be alive if she had not been charged, Christine said: “I do, I really do.

“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 added: “She lost her job straight away, without even being found guilty or going to court. She had another series axed.”

Lewis Burton - Jamie Lorriman

Lewis Burton – Jamie Lorriman

Mrs Flack said she will not stop campaigning for a more comprehensive apology from the Met for the way it dealt with her daughter in the hours before she died.

Following her arrest, Flack was taken by ambulance to hospital because she had self-harmed. She was then locked in a cell for 24 hours.

The Met said that the arrest had been handled appropriately. A spokesman for the force 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.”

Last month, Chief superintendent Andy Carter wrote to Ms Flack’s mother to apologise, saying: “I am sincerely sorry for our inability to previously capture an adequate contemporaneous record of streamlined, balanced and transparent decision-making regarding the CPS appeal and statistical data.”

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