The Metropolitan Police has referred itself to the police watchdog over the contact it had with Caroline Flack before her death.
The former Love Island host was found dead in her flat on Saturday afternoon, the day after she had been told that the CPS was pursuing the court case against her.
Scotland Yard’s directorate of professional standards reviewed all previous contact with Love Island presenter Flack, 40, before making the referral on Wednesday.
In a statement, the Met said: ‘As is standard practice when a member of the public dies or is seriously injured and has had recent contact with police, the Directorate of Professional Standards has reviewed all previous police contact with Ms Flack.
The Metropolitan Police has referred itself to the police watchdog over the contact it had with Caroline Flack before her death
The former Love Island host was found dead in her flat on Saturday afternoon. Pictured: Emergency services at the scene in Stoke Newington
A picture of Caroline Flack posted by Mollie Grosberg, a TV producer, on Valentine’s Day
‘Following the review, the MPS made a mandatory referral to the IOPC on Wednesday, 19 February to allow for an independent assessment.
‘No notice of investigation has been served on any officer and no conduct issues have been identified by the DPS. No officer is on restricted duties or suspended.’
The much loved TV star had pleaded not guilty to assault by beating at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court in North London on December 23 and was due to go on trial at March 4.
Her family and managers have since accused the CPS of a ‘show trial’ that put pressure on the troubled star in the days before her death.
Yesterday, Miss Flack’s mother released an unpublished Instagram post the star wrote in the days before her death in which she said her arrest had meant her whole world had ‘collapsed’.
The presenter insisted in the heart-rending message that she was not a domestic abuser and that her alleged assault on boyfriend Lewis Burton was an accident.
In the message, shared by her mother Chris, the star explained how her ‘whole world and future was swept from under my feet’ in the 24 hours following her arrest.
Caroline Flack’s friend Mollie Grosberg earlier posted this picture of them on Instagram alongside an emotional tribute in which she said: ‘I kissed your head yesterday and it was the last time and it was the most precious feeling’
Just one day before she died, the former Love Island presenter posted her last Instagram photo, which showed her cuddling her beloved pet, captioned with a love heart
A heartbroken Lewis Burton posted this photograph of his former girlfriend Caroline Flack after an inquest heard she had hanged herself
In the post Miss Flack revealed that she had been having ‘some sort of emotional breakdown for a very long time’ and that she and her family ‘could not take it anymore’.
The 40-year-old had planned to post the message on social media and had shown it to her mother at the end of January, but was advised not to share it with her millions of followers.
Why did the CPS pursue the assault charges when the alleged victim – her boyfriend – wanted them dropped?
The Crown Prosecution Service is under obligation to investigate all domestic violence incidents if they believe they are in the public interest.
For years there has been growing concern that too few domestic violence cases end in prosecution.
Many involve women who have been attacked by their husbands who later withdraw their original accusations under duress or because they are simply living in fear.
To try and address this, the CPS introduced reforms in 2014 aimed at greatly increasing prosecution rates.
They issued guidance to police urging them to gather multiple sources of evidence rather than just relying on the victim’s statement – which may be unreliable or change.
One of the most important sources of evidence in domestic abuse cases is likely to be the original 999 call made by the victim shortly after the attack.
Other evidence could include witness statements from neighbours, medical examinations or images from the scene captured on police bodycams or CCTV.
Miss Flack was understood to be horrified by the prospect of a ‘show trial’ over the alleged assault on her boyfriend Lewis Burton and was worried she could not cope with the fallout.
Flack said she ‘took responsibility for what happened that night’ but said it had been an accident and she ‘was NOT a domestic abuser’.
No members of Flack’s family were present as the inquest opened at Poplar Coroner’s Court in east London yesterday.
Coroner’s officer Sandra Polson said police were driving through Stoke Newington, on Saturday February 15 when they were flagged down.
She said Ms Flack was found and police attempted resuscitation, which was then continued by paramedics, but she was pronounced dead at the scene. Her body was identified by her twin sister, Jody Flack, the inquest heard.
The inquest heard the provisional cause of death was given as suspension by ligature.
The hearing, which lasted four minutes, was adjourned until August 5.
CPS lawyers decided to prosecute Miss Flack even after Mr Burton asked police not to proceed. A court was told she hit him over the head with a lamp.
Known as an ‘evidence-led prosecution’, it would have relied not on his testimony but on material gathered by police such as bodycam footage taken at her home.
Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court heard that, in the aftermath of the alleged incident, Miss Flack told police ‘I did it’ then warned she would kill herself.
But Miss Flack’s management company criticised the CPS for pressing ahead with what it called her ‘show trial’ even after Mr Burton said he did not support it.
The hearing at Poplar Coroner’s Court was brief, with the coroner adjourning proceedings to allow the police investigation to continue.
Flack’s death, confirmed on Saturday evening, was the latest connected to the ITV2 show and prompted a tidal wave of grief from celebrity friends and members of the public.
Flack stepped down from presenting the current winter series of Love Island after an alleged assault on boyfriend Lewis Burton.
The TV star pleaded not guilty at a court hearing in December and was released on bail.
The presenter insisted that she was not a domestic abuser and that her alleged assault on boyfriend Lewis Burton, pictured together, was an accident
But she was ordered to stop having any contact with Burton ahead of a trial which had been due to begin in March.
The dating show did not air on Saturday or Sunday as a mark of respect to her family and returned on Monday with a tribute to Flack, who started hosting the programme in 2015.
An IOPC spokesman: said: ‘The Independent Office for Police Conduct has received a referral from the Metropolitan Police relating to its contact with Caroline Flack prior to her death.
‘We will make a decision on the level of our involvement after carefully assessing the information we have received. Receipt of a referral does not mean an investigation will necessarily follow.’
To contact the Samaritans, call 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org
The full message that Caroline Flack wrote and was advised not to post on social media
Flack’s mother shared the message in her local paper, the Eastern Daily Press, in Norfolk where Flack grew up.
For a lot of people, being arrested for common assault is an extreme way to have some sort of spiritual awakening but for me it’s become the normal.
I’ve been pressing the snooze button on many stresses in my life – for my whole life. I’ve accepted shame and toxic opinions on my life for over 10 years and yet told myself it’s all part of my job. No complaining.
The problem with brushing things under the carpet is …. they are still there and one day someone is going to lift that carpet up and all you are going to feel is shame and embarrassment.
On December the 12th 2019 I was arrested for common assault on my boyfriend… Within 24 hours my whole world and future was swept from under my feet and all the walls that I had taken so long to build around me, collapsed. I am suddenly on a different kind of stage and everyone is watching it happen.
I have always taken responsibility for what happened that night. Even on the night. But the truth is… It was an accident.
I’ve been having some sort of emotional breakdown for a very long time.
But I am NOT a domestic abuser. We had an argument and an accident happened. An accident. The blood that someone SOLD to a newspaper was MY blood and that was something very sad and very personal.
The reason I am talking today is because my family can’t take anymore. I’ve lost my job. My home. My ability to speak. And the truth has been taken out of my hands and used as entertainment.
I can’t spend every day hidden away being told not to say or speak to anyone.
I’m so sorry to my family for what I have brought upon them and for what my friends have had to go through.
I’m not thinking about ‘how I’m going to get my career back.’ I’m thinking about how I’m going to get mine and my family’s life back.