Caroline Flack wanted to 'find harmony' with boyfriend

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Image caption,
Caroline Flack was found dead at her home in Stoke Newington

TV star Caroline Flack left a note before her death saying she had wanted to "find harmony" with her boyfriend Lewis Burton, an inquest was told.

The ex-Love Island and X Factor host had been hounded by the media and faced a "show trial" after being accused of Mr Burton's assault, the court heard.

Mr Burton told Poplar Coroner's Court the last time he had seen Ms Flack "she was not in a good place".

"The media were constantly bashing her character," he said in a statement.

"[They were] writing hurtful stories... generally hounding her daily."

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 hearing was told the Crown Prosecution Service had initially pursued a caution against Ms Flack, but withdrew it after the Metropolitan Police said they believed it was in the public interest to bring the assault charge.

That evidence to the hearing came after Ms Flack's mother Chris had made it clear she thought her daughter was "seriously let down by the authorities and in particular the CPS for pursuing the case".

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

On the day Ms Flack was found dead, a paramedic found a note that said "I hope me and Lewis can one day find harmony," the court heard.

The 40-year-old had left her role presenting Love Island, the ITV2 dating show, in the wake of her arrest last December.

She had been charged with assaulting Mr Burton with a lamp, after police were called to a disturbance at her home.

In her statement, Ms Flack's mother described the case as "a show trial".

"Being well known should not allow special treatment, but should not allow making an example of someone," she continued.

But Lisa Ramsarran, deputy chief crown prosecutor, told the hearing there was by then "significant evidence to support a charge" of actual bodily harm (ABH) against Ms Flack.

The evidence included a 999 call made by Mr Burton, a number of body-worn footage extracts and the injury to Ms Flack's boyfriend, the prosecutor said.

She added the CPS initially planned to caution Ms Flack but senior Met Police detectives, acting on behalf of colleagues who were investigating the case, had asked to review the evidence believing a caution was not appropriate and the assault charge was in the public interest.

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Image caption,
In a statement, Lewis Burton said the media were "constantly bashing" Ms Flack's character

This came on top of the fact Ms Flack thought Mr Burton had sent a picture allegedly showing the scene of the assault to an ex girlfriend that had then been released to the press, her mother outlined to the court.

"This devastated her," her mother said.

Ms Flack's twin Jody also said her sister had tried to take her own life the night before she appeared in court, and paramedics had been called on four separate occasions.

'Sad all the time'

In a written statement, she explained sections of the press were "hounding" the 40-year-old and paid her neighbours to inform them of her movements.

"The press and the public found this a very entertaining angle, and was spiralling out of control," Jody said.

"I believe the shame... was too much to deal with."

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Flowers were left outside Caroline Flack's former home after she died in February

Mollie Grosberg, a friend of Ms Flack, said the presenter's mental health deteriorated as she got more famous.

She said her friend had been "very sad all the time" and the assault case had made things worse.

"She was so scared to go to prison, of the police, the press," she said.

A post-mortem examination of Ms Flack's blood found no traces of alcohol, but found traces of Zopiclone - used to treat insomnia - at just above therapeutic levels.

She had complained of sleeplessness and anxiety to a wellness doctor days prior to her death.

The inquest will conclude on Thursday.

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