A watchdog has instructed the Metropolitan police to reinvestigate Caroline Flack’s mother’s complaint that her daughter was treated differently by police due to her fame.
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police (MPS) told the BBC that the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IPOC) has told the force to reinvestigate the aspect of an old complaint.
What happened to Caroline Flack?
The popular Love Island presenter took her own life at the age of 40 in February 2020.
A coroner ruled that she took her own life after learning that prosecutors were going to press ahead with an assault charge over an accident involving her boyfriend, Lewis Burton, and feared the publicity the trial would attract.
Friends said she was expecting the case to be dropped after her lawyers applied for it to be thrown out.
Her mother, Christine Flack, told the BBC she still wants to know why her daughter was charged with the assault, despite prosecutors initially saying she should be given a caution.
She said: “I just want those answers to make me feel better and to make me know that I’ve done the right thing by Caroline.”
She added: “It leaves us really sad and really angry because we want to know why they charged her.
“I just want the truth out there. I know it won’t bring her back but I’ve got to do it for her.”
She first complained to the Met one month after her daughter’s death and asked the force to investigate its duty of care towards Caroline, and the procedures that were followed when she was arrested and subsequently charged.
Mrs Flack said she feels the decision by police to charge her daughter contributed to her death, saying “she couldn’t see a way out”.
She now says she has lost all trust in the force, adding: “There’s no trust at all. No trust at all. I just want the truth out there.
“And it won’t bring her back. I know it won’t bring her back. But I’ve got to do it for her.”
What has the Met Police said?
Caroline discovered on the day before her death that she would be prosecuted with the charge that she hit Mr Burton with her phone while he slept over concerns he had been cheating on her.
Coroner Mary Hassell found that Ms Flack killed herself because she knew she was being prosecuted and could not face the press coverage.
Mrs Flack had accused the police and prosecutors of having it “in for” her daughter and said the police took her to court due to her “celebrity status”.
In response to the accusation, the MPS spokesman said: “Following a review, the IOPC agreed with the MPS that service was acceptable in relation to seven areas of the complaints relating to the response and handling of the incident by the MPS.
“The IOPC has directed the MPS to reinvestigate one element of the complaints. This relates to the process involved in appealing the CPS decision to caution Ms Flack.
“We will re-examine this element of the investigative process.
“Our thoughts and sympathies remain with Caroline’s family.”
Tuesday (15 February) will mark the second anniversary of the death of the Love Island and X Factor host after she was tragically found dead at her London home.
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