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Questions raised over prosecution following death of Caroline Flack

PUBLISHED: 11:24 17 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:24 17 February 2020

Caroline Flack with the reality and constructed factual award on behalf of Love Island at the Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards 2018. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire

Caroline Flack with the reality and constructed factual award on behalf of Love Island at the Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards 2018. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire

Caroline Flack told police she would kill herself after she allegedly assaulted her boyfriend in December.

A police van parked outside the building believed to be where Caroline Flack lived in Clapton, London. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA/PA WireA police van parked outside the building believed to be where Caroline Flack lived in Clapton, London. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA/PA Wire

The TV presenter was found dead at the age of 40 at her Clapton home on Saturday, after taking her own life.

Flack, who was described as "vulnerable" by her management, had pleaded not guilty to assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton at her former flat in north London in a court hearing in December.

Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court heard that, in the aftermath of the alleged incident, Flack told police "I did it" and then warned she would kill herself.

Flack was arrested and charged with assault by beating after police were called to her flat in Islington on December 12.

The Metropolitan Police declined to comment, although further detail may emerge at an inquest.

Flack stepped down from presenting the current winter series of Love Island after the alleged assault. The ITV programme did not air on Sunday night.

Floral tributes placed outside Caroline Flack's former home in North London. PA Photo. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA/PA WireFloral tributes placed outside Caroline Flack's former home in North London. PA Photo. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA/PA Wire

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Ambulance crews were called on Friday night to a property in Clapton, where Flack was thought to have recently moved - but a London Ambulance Service spokesman refused to confirm or deny reports the paramedics attended her flat.

An LAS statement said: "We were called shortly after 10.30pm on 14 February to a residential property on Northwold Road, N16.

"Crews attended and, following a clinical assessment, the person was not taken to hospital. Due to patient confidentiality we cannot comment further."

The LAS also said crews were called to Northwold Road at 2.30pm on Saturday, adding that "a person was pronounced dead at the scene", but would not comment on whether the two incidents were linked.

The shock news prompted a flood of tributes from celebrities. But it also brought questions about the decision to persist with prosecuting Flack for the alleged assault on her boyfriend, and about the pressures faced by TV celebrities from the press and social media.

Caroline Flack. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA WireCaroline Flack. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Her management company criticised the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for pressing ahead with what it called her "show trial" even after her boyfriend said he did not support it.

By Sunday evening, an online petition calling for a Government inquiry into "the practices and policies of mainstream media organisations and social media platforms in their efforts to protect members of the public from harm" had more than 200,000 signatures.

Flack is the fourth person linked to the ITV2 dating programme to have killed themselves.


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