It has recently been stated by prosecutors that the CPS was “right” to charge TV presenter Caroline Flack for assault and that a trial did need to be pursued.
The former head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in north London, Ed Beltrami, has stated the case against Caroline Flack should not have been dropped despite the alleged victim – Flack’s boyfriend Lewis Burton – not supporting it.
He told Wales on Sunday newspaper: “You’ve got to come to a decision as a prosecutor, you’ve got to do what you think is right.
“You cannot do what you think is popular.”
In February, Caroline Flack took her own life, two weeks before the trial was meant to start, and her management slammed the CPS for conducting what they believed to be a “show trial”.
Regardless, Mr Beltrami, who is now Wales’ chief crown prosecutor, said that “you can’t possibly anticipate that sort of thing” when trying to make a decision.
Before taking over the case, Mr Beltrami claims he had never heard of the Love Island presenter following the CPS Direct charged her with assault.
He said: “It had come into the area and it had blown up in the press which is why it was referred to me.”
By the time Mr Beltrami had taken over, Mr Burton had already dropped his complaint. However, Mr Beltrami argued that “you don’t just fold at the first sign of trouble.”
He added: “The facts of this case were the guy had made his complaint, he had phoned the police, he was terrified he was going to be killed, he’s been hit over the head with a weapon, namely a lamp, he’s got a cut to his head, and she’s made an admission to the police at the scene.
“So in the general principles of domestic abuse, you say: ‘Well I’m going to proceed without the victim because I’ve got the admission, I’ve got the complaint from the victim which I’ll try to get in, I’ve got the physical evidence of the cut to the head and the mess in the flat which has been filmed by the police’.”
Mr Beltrami then implied that if the case had been dropped there could be “repetition”.
He questioned: “Supposing we had made a decision not to proceed, which we could have done, and she goes back to live with the boyfriend and she loses her temper again on another occasion, hits him a bit harder with a lamp or with something else, and he dies. How would that look then?”
The CPS is currently conducting a review into Flack’s death.