Entertainment

Caroline Flack’s mother rejects Met Police apology over lack of records

Christine Flack said she will not stop campaigning for a more comprehensive apology from the force for the way it dealt with her daughter.
Christine Flack said she will not stop campaigning for a more comprehensive apology from the force for the way it dealt with her daughter. Christine Flack said she will not stop campaigning for a more comprehensive apology from the force for the way it dealt with her daughter.

Caroline Flack’s mother has rejected the Metropolitan Police’s apology for not keeping a record about why they charged her with assault.

Christine Flack has snubbed the force’s apology about how her daughter’s case was handled in a Newsnight interview which is due to be aired at 10.30pm on Monday on BBC Two.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had recommended the former Love Island presenter receive a caution following an incident with her boyfriend Lewis Burton.

But this was overturned after an appeal from the Met Police who instead charged her with assault by beating.

File image of Carline Flack
File image of Carline Flack File image of Caroline Flack attending the Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards 2018 held at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London.

Ms Flack was found dead in February 2020 at the age of 40.

A coroner later ruled she took her own life after learning that prosecutors were going to press ahead with an assault charge.

Scotland Yard last month apologised to Christine Flack for not recording the reason why her daughter was charged.

She has now told the BBC she rejects that apology, while the force has claimed her daughter’s arrest was handled appropriately.

After an initial investigation by the Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) found there was no misconduct, Ms Flack’s family escalated their concerns to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which ordered the Met to reinvestigate complaints relating to the process involved in appealing against the CPS decision.

The IOPC, a police watchdog, carried out a review of the Met’s decision to charge her, which “did not identify any misconduct” by the force.

But the IOPC asked the Met to apologise to Ms Flack’s family for not recording its reason to appeal against the original CPS decision.

Christine Flack has previously said her daughter was 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.”

When asked if she thought her daughter would still be alive if the caution had remained and she had not been charged, Ms Flack 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,” 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 Flack said she will not stop campaigning for a more comprehensive apology from the force for the way it dealt with her daughter in the hours before she died.

Following her arrest, Ms Flack 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.

A Met Police spokesperson told the BBC: “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 Flack 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 added.