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CPS defends role after Caroline Flack’s management company criticise ‘show trial’

PUBLISHED: 22:54 16 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:08 17 February 2020

File photo dated 22/1/2019 of TV presenter Caroline Flack who has died, her family said in a statement. PA Photo. Issue date: Saturday February 15, 2020. See PA story DEATH Flack. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire

File photo dated 22/1/2019 of TV presenter Caroline Flack who has died, her family said in a statement. PA Photo. Issue date: Saturday February 15, 2020. See PA story DEATH Flack. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire

The Crown Prosecution Service has released guidelines regarding when to charge someone after criticism from the management team of late Norfolk television presenter Caroline Flack.

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

The former Love Island host had been due to stand trial in March following allegations of assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton.

The TV star entered a not guilty plea to the assault charge in December and was released on bail - with conditions that stopped her having any contact with Burton until the trial.

Her management company criticised the CPS for pressing ahead with a "show trial" even after her boyfriend said he did not support it.

MORE: 'My heart is broken': Caroline Flack's boyfriend in emotional tribute

The inquest has opened into the death of Caroline Flack. Photo: Ian West/PA WireThe inquest has opened into the death of Caroline Flack. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire

Francis Ridley, of Money Talent UK, said: "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."

In response, the CPS said its "deepest sympathies go to the family and friends" of Miss Flack, but did not comment further.

Questions about "the role of the CPS in deciding whether to charge an individual with a criminal offence" prompted the service to explain its procedures on Sunday, but was not a comment on any individual case.

Caroline Flack (left) and Amber Davies with the award for Reality Programme at the 2018 TRIC Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London. Picture: Ian West/PA WireCaroline Flack (left) and Amber Davies with the award for Reality Programme at the 2018 TRIC Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire

It shared it followed a two stage test to weigh if evidence provided a realistic prospect of conviction and was in the public interest.

MORE: School dance group in Norfolk to Love Island fame: Caroline Flack's rise to stardom

There was further information when a complainant wished to withdraw a complaint in relation to a domestic abuse allegations.

The CPS say reasons such as these should be considered as a means to assist prosecutors in understanding how they will need to consider the next steps to be taken.

The CPS said: "The following information explains our role and approach. It is not a comment on any individual case.

"We do not decide whether a person is guilty of a criminal offence - that is for the jury, judge or magistrate - but we must make the key decision of whether a case should be put before a court.

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