Investigations have found that the actions of the police and legal profession did not contribute to Caroline Flack's suicide

By Phil Boucher
March 04, 2020 02:18 PM
Advertisement

Caroline Flack did not kill herself because of the actions of British law enforcement, according to a series of investigations conducted by London’s Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecution Service, which handles all public prosecutions in England and Wales.

This follows criticism from some quarters that the legal system had pursued a “show trial” against the former Love Island host, who died by suicide on Feb. 15. She was 40.

“It is normal practice for prosecutors to hold a debriefing in complex or sensitive cases after they have ended,” a CPS spokesperson told PEOPLE in a release Wednesday. “This has taken place and found that the case was handled appropriately and in line with our published legal guidance.”

The spokesperson added, “Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Caroline Flack.”

Caroline Flack
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

In a separate release, police watchdog The Independent Office for Police Conduct stated that they had found “no indication of a causal link — directly or indirectly — between the actions or omissions of the police and Caroline Flack’s tragic death.”

The IOPC added that Met Police officers last had contact with the Flack on Dec. 13 — around two months before her death — when she was charged with assault following an incident at her home in Islington, London.

Flack was released on bail at the time with conditions that prevented her from having contact with boyfriend Lewis Burton, a 27-year-old former professional tennis player and model.

“While in custody on 13 December, officers arranged for her to see a health care professional and relevant policy and procedure was followed to give her further guidance,” according to the IOPC release.

The watchdog has since referred the case back to the Metropolitan Police’s Directorate of Professional Standards, which had already conducted its own review of police contact with Flack prior to her death — a standard practice “when a member of the public dies or is seriously injured and has had recent contact with police officers,” according to Scotland Yard.

The DPS concluded Wednesday that “a formal investigation is not required,” according to the release. “No conduct has been identified on the part of any officer.”

An autopsy conducted at Hackney Mortuary in east London on Feb. 18 ruled that Flack died by suicide at an apartment in Stoke Newington, London. The coroner is currently waiting for the results of toxicology tests and is expected to deliver a final ruling on Aug. 5.

On Tuesday, an 850,000-signature petition in support of a “Caroline’s Law” restricting the actions of the British media was delivered to the U.K. government. It hopes to make media bullying and harassment a criminal offense and was set up in the aftermath of Flack’s death.

“Politicians need to urgently step in and make sure there are consequences when the media bully and harass,” Holly Maltby, of campaigning group 38 Degrees, told the BBC.

“It’s people up and down the country, whose lives can be completely torn apart in a moment, because of harassment, intimidation and bullying, often at very difficult times,” she added. “We’re gathering those case studies every day now, of people who said regulators need to be doing more, and the government need to be doing more.”

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.