IOPC says there is no indication of causal link between police actions and star’s death
Matthew Weaver – The Guardian
Caroline Flack in January 2019. She took her own life last month while awaiting trial. Photograph: Matt Crossick/PA
The police watchdog has decided against investigating how the Metropolitan police dealt with an assault case against the late Love Island host Caroline Flack.
The 40-year-old presenter killed herself on 15 February while awaiting trial on charges that she assaulted her boyfriend, Lewis Burton, with a lamp.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct said on Wednesday there was no indication of a causal link between the actions or omissions of the police and Flack’s death.
Met police officers last had contact with Flack on 13 December when she was in custody following the alleged assault.
The Met referred itself to the watchdog, as is required when a member of the public dies after recent contact with police.
The IOPC noted that while Flack was in custody, Met officers arranged for her to see a healthcare professional and followed relevant procedures.
It said: “On this basis, we have returned this referral to the Metropolitan police service’s department for professional standards for them to deal with the matter in whatever manner they decide.”
The department for professional standards concluded that a formal investigation was not required, the Met said.
“A comprehensive review of the circumstances surrounding all police contact with Ms Flack following her arrest and detention has already taken place as part of the referral process. No conduct has been identified on the part of any officer,” it said.
Separately, the Crown Prosecution Service has said it will review its handling of the assault case against Flack.
Flack was bailed after an initial court hearing and her trial was due to start on Wednesday.
After her death, Flack’s management team accused the CPS of preparing a “show trial”, with Burton having said he did not support a prosecution and Flack having denied the charge against her.
Following a freedom of information request from the Daily Mirror, it is understood the CPS will look into its handling of the matter through a post-case review panel, a procedure that is not uncommon, especially in regard to complex or sensitive cases.
It is understood the outcome of the review will not be made public.
- In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email [email protected] or [email protected] In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.