Caroline Flack's mother spoke out after the U.K. prosecutor said it was "right" for the TV presenter to face trial for allegedly assaulting boyfriend Lewis Burton

By Phil Boucher
June 08, 2020 04:07 PM
Advertisement
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

The mother of late Love Island host Caroline Flack has hit out against a U.K. government attorney for not allowing her daughter to “rest in peace.”

Christine Flack, 69, forcefully criticized chief prosecutor Ed Beltrami after he said it was "right" for the Crown Prosecution Service (which handles all criminal prosecutions in England and Wales), to take the TV presenter to court for allegedly assaulting boyfriend Lewis Burton on December 12, 2019 — a charge that both Flack and Burton later denied.

"You've got to come to a decision as a prosecutor. You've got to do what you think is right," Beltrami, who is now the chief crown prosecutor for Wales, told Wales Online on Saturday. "You cannot do what you think is popular."

"You don't just fold at the first sign of trouble," he added. "The facts of this case were the guy had made his complaint, he had phoned the police, he was terrified he was going to be killed, he's been hit over the head with a weapon, namely a lamp, he's got a cut to his head, and she's made an admission to the police at the scene."

Faced with this, Beltrami said he had no option other than to charge Caroline, regardless of the fact that Burton later posted on Instagram "this blood isn’t mine and I didn’t get hit over the head with a lamp, can everyone stop now.”

The prosecutor also claims that he had "absolutely no idea" that Caroline, who stepped down from the popular British reality series after the incident at her apartment in Islington, London, would take her life the day after she was informed the case would go to trial.

"You can't possibly anticipate that sort of thing," he added.

An autopsy performed at Poplar Coroner's Court in February diagnosed the preliminary cause of death. The investigation will ultimately be concluded by an inquest which has yet to be scheduled.

In an emotionally charged response to Beltrami’s comments released through the Eastern Daily Press on Monday, Christine refuted all of these claims and accused both the prosecutor and the Crown Prosecution Service of "creating the toxic environment which ultimately led to Caroline’s death."

She also alleged that they ignored repeated warnings about the fragility of her daughter's mental state in the days before her death.

"Mr. Beltrami says that the CPS 'had no idea' that my daughter may take her life when they decided to continue the case against her," she wrote. "If that is true then the CPS ignored the correspondence from my daughter’s solicitors and a psychologist’s report warning of just that possibility.

"It also ignores the fact that my daughter had cut herself so badly the night of the incident for which she was arrested that she was taken to two different hospitals and there were concerns for her life."

She continued, “How can you claim to have 'no idea”'that someone may take their life when they have already attempted to do so because of the events in question? Does Mr. Beltrami claim to be ignorant of these facts or is he just ignoring them? The CPS were fully aware of these matters and the risk when they decided to continue the prosecution.”

In a separate section, Christine claimed that the CPS also contributed to the decline of the TV presenter's mental health by releasing details about Burton's injuries that "were either not true, or which they knew were misleading."

According to Christine, this was further compounded when a photograph of Flack's bloodstained apartment appeared in the British press.

"You can only imagine Caroline’s anguish at the perception she had caused someone else an injury that led to so much blood and not being able to say it was hers for fear that it would be obvious that she had made an attempt on her own life – and she would lose her career," she wrote.

"The subsequent publication of a photograph showing her bedroom covered with HER blood (though suggested to be Mr. Burton’s) was enabled because of the CPS approach and the failure to make clear it was not Mr. Burton’s blood.

"Caroline was so embarrassed and appalled by that photograph – and the person who provided it to the press should be so ashamed of themselves.

"I don’t blame the press for publishing this picture in these circumstances – the CPS allowed them to do it by their claims."

In response to Christine’s claims, the Crown Prosecution Service told PEOPLE on Monday that their "thoughts remain with the family and friends of Caroline Flack," adding, "We don’t have any further comment at this time.”

In a previous release from March, they also stated, “It is normal practice for prosecutors to hold a debriefing in complex or sensitive cases after they have ended. This has taken place and found that the case was handled appropriately and in line with our published legal guidance.”

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.