Caroline

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Reuters

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Caroline Flack was found dead at her home in Stoke Newington

Caroline Flack struck her boyfriend while he slept because she suspected he was cheating, an inquest has heard.

The ex-Love Island host was found “covered in blood” while Lewis Burton had a head wound in December 2019.

A senior officer said a decision to bring an assault charge – after prosecutors initially pursued a caution – was not “motivated” by celebrity.

But Ms Flack’s mother Chris said if “it was an ordinary person, you wouldn’t have been bothered”.

Ms Flack was found dead at her home in Stoke Newington, London in February, while she was facing trial accused of assaulting Mr Burton – a charge she denied.

The inquest at Poplar Coroner’s Court previously heard the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had sought a caution, but withdrew it after the Met Police said it believed it was in the public interest to charge Ms Flack with assault.

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PA Media

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Witnesses and lawyers are listening into the hearing at Poplar Coroner’s Court remotely

A section from the police incident report was read out in court earlier, in which Ms Flack said she had “hit him”.

Ms Flack gave an account to police at the scene, in which she said: “I did it, I whacked him round the head like that”, gesturing a swinging motion with her right hand to police.

She told officers: “I admit I did it. I used the phone.”

Based on this evidence the CPS decided to caution Ms Flack for assault, but Scotland Yard urged the CPS to push ahead with a prosecution, the inquest heard.

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PA Media

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Flowers were left outside Caroline Flack’s former home after she died in February

Det Insp Lauren Bateman told the court Ms Flack had not made it clear in her police interview later what she was admitting to.

In later police interviews, Ms Flack said she flicked Mr Burton “to wake him up”, and that she did not believe she caused his injury.

Due to the lack of admission the case should be heard in court, Det Insp Bateman said.

She said a senior lawyer would make the final decision whether or not to agree that a caution was insufficient, and it was in her view opinion a caution for this sort of offence was not in line with the guidance.

At the inquest Ms Flack’s mother attacked the police decision.

She told Ms Bateman: “No real evidence was put forward. If it was an ordinary person, you wouldn’t have been bothered.

“You should be disgusted with yourself.

“That girl killed herself because you put an appeal through.”

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PA Media

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Ms Flack was due to face trial for assault in March

Ms Flack was subsequently charged with assault and had been due to stand trial in March.

Det Insp Bateman told the inquest the decision to charge Ms Flack was “absolutely not” motivated in part by her celebrity status.

She said: “I would have done exactly the same if it had been anyone.”All I can say is I was not biased and I treat everyone the same.”

The inquest is due to conclude later.

You can find information and support for issues raised in this article on the BBC Action Line website.

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