Caroline Flack arriving at the ITV Gala held at the London Palladium on 9 November 2017 in LondonGetty Images

The mother of Caroline Flack has said she rejects an apology given by the Metropolitan Police about how her daughter’s case was handled.

The TV star was facing prosecution for assaulting her boyfriend when she killed herself in February 2020.

The Met last month apologised to her mum, Christine Flack, for not recording the reason why she had been charged.

Christine told the BBC she rejects that apology, while the force said her arrest had been handled appropriately.

It is three years since The X Factor and Love Island host took her own life. She had been due to appear in court over the alleged assault of her then-boyfriend, Lewis Burton, in the weeks before her death, in 2020.

‘It seems wrong’

Following her arrest, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) initially decided Caroline only receive a caution – a decision that was appealed by a senior Met officer and resulted in her instead facing a charge of assault by beating.

A coroner later ruled the presenter killed herself because she knew she was facing prosecution and feared the publicity a trial would attract.

Following her death, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) carried out a review of the Met’s decision to charge her. The review “did not identify any misconduct” by the Met.

However, the IOPC did ask the Met to apologise to Caroline’s family about not recording its reason to appeal the original CPS decision. Last month, the force apologised for not officially recording why the presenter had been charged.

Christine has previously said her daughter had been treated differently because of her fame.

Speaking to BBC Newsnight’s Victoria Derbyshire, she said she does 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.”

Christine Flack, mother of Caroline

When asked if she thought her daughter would still be alive if the caution had remained and Caroline had not been charged, Christine told Newsnight: “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,” she said. “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.”

Christine says 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, Caroline was taken by ambulance to hospital because she had self-harmed. She was later locked in a cell for 24 hours, which her mother believes was unnecessary.

The Met told the BBC the arrest had been handled appropriately. A spokesman 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.”

Christine told Newsnight her biggest regret is not speaking out publicly in the hours after her daughter’s arrest to correct what she describes as “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 says. “And nobody ever came out and said, ‘No, that didn’t happen.'”

Watch the Newsnight interview in full at 22:30 on BBC Two or on BBC iPlayer

If you, or someone you know, have been affected by mental health issues or self-harm, help and support is available via BBC Action Line.

Source: BBC

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