Following the tragic death of Caroline Flack this week questions have been raised about why the Crown Prosecution Service continued with the case against her despite her boyfriend withdrawing his complaint.
Caroline had been due to stand trial in March after it was claimed she had assaulted Lewis Burton and self-harmed during an incident at her flat, in an incident which is is claimed a member of the emergency sold images from the scene to The Sun Newspaper
Lewis Burton, 27, has claimed despite him saying he did not support the prosecution case.
Caroline had appeared ay Highbury Corner Magistrates Court whereby she pleaded not guilty.
Hours following Caroline’s death her management released a statement which stated “The Crown Prosecution Service pursued this when they knew not only how very vulnerable Caroline was but also that the alleged victim did not support the prosecution and had disputed the CPS version of events.
“The CPS should look at themselves today and how they pursued a show trial that was not only without merit but not in the public interest. And ultimately resulted in significant distress to Caroline.”
Why did CPS continue the charge?
CPS has now made it clear about how it comes to prosecution decisions and has said it does not make the decision over someone’s guilt by they look at if the person should face court.
They ask two questions when making the decision: “Does the evidence provide a realistic prospect of conviction?” and “Is it in the public interest to prosecute?”.
They’ve also said that if a person who makes witness statements against a defendant does not mean the complaint will be automatically stopped because there are still things to consider.
This is more likely not to be stopped within domestic violence cases these will be pursued in the public interest if a victim does not or cannot support the case.
However last year the police dealt with 750K cases of domestic violence and they only managed to charge and prosecute 75%.
CPS can only really charge a person with domestic violence if there is strong allegations of serious violence and they have strong evidence such as 999 call recording, police body cameras, statements and interviews.
The fact that Caroline is a celebrity will not have been considered or taken into account with CPS making decisions on individual merit without fear or favour.
Caroline family have released an unpublished Instagram post that said “I have always taken responsibility for what happened that night. Even on the night. But the truth is … It was an accident.”
“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.”
“That was something very sad and very personal, The reason I am talking today is because my family can’t take any more. 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.”
“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.”
“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.”