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Police reinvestigate decision to charge Caroline Flack


Britain’s Metropolitan Police will reinvestigate the lead-up to the decision to charge the late TV presenter Caroline Flack, as “new witness evidence may be available”, the force has said.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) recommended that the former Love Island presenter receive a caution following an incident with her boyfriend, Lewis Burton, in December 2019.

But this was overturned after an appeal from the Metropolitan Police, and she was instead charged with assault by beating.

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.

The Metropolitan Police has now said it is making “further enquiries” into potential new witness evidence relating to the actions of officers in appealing the initial CPS decision not to charge Ms Flack.

A statement from the Metropolitan Police given to the PA news agency said: “On Thursday, March 7, we referred a complaint from Caroline Flack’s family to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

“The IOPC decided the majority of the matters had previously been dealt with and no further action was required.

“The IOPC returned one aspect of the complaint back to the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) to consider further.

“This relates to the actions of officers in appealing an initial decision by the Crown Prosecution Service not to charge Ms Flack, and because new witness evidence may be available.

“DPS officers are now making further enquiries in relation to this.”

A spokesperson for the IOPC said: “On the basis there may be new witness evidence available, we returned one aspect of the complaint back to the Met to investigate.

“This relates to the actions of officers in appealing an initial decision by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) not to charge Ms Flack. The CPS subsequently reconsidered its advice and authorised a criminal charge.”

This is not the first investigation into the handling of Ms Flack’s case.

The Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) previously found there was no misconduct, which led Ms Flack’s family to escalate their concerns to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

The IOPC, a police watchdog, ordered the Metropolitan Police to reinvestigate complaints relating to the process involved in appealing against the CPS decision while it carried out a review of the Metropolitan Police’s decision to charge her.

It “did not identify any misconduct” by the force. However, the IOPC asked the Metropolitan Police to apologise to Ms Flack’s family for not recording its reason for appealing against the original CPS decision.

At the time, Ms Flack’s mother, Christine, rejected the apology.

The decision to reinvestigate the lead-up to the decision to charge Ms Flack comes after it was announced that British singer Olly Murs will headline Flackstock when the festival returns for its third year on 22 July.

The event, held in honour of the late TV presenter, will also see All Saints singer Shaznay Lewis, X Factor star Rebecca Ferguson, Scottish music artist Tom Walker, The One and Only singer Chesney Hawkes, and the Irish band NewDad perform.

Money raised from the festival will be split equally between the UK charities Choose Love, Mind, Samaritans, and the Charlie Waller Trust.

Source: Press Association

If you have been affected by issues raised in this story, please visit: www.rte.ie/helplines.


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