The inquest into Caroline Flack’s death has resumed today, six months after she sadly took her own life, and it has been revealed she left a handwritten note to her boyfriend.
The host of the popular ITV show, Love Island, Caroline Flack died back in February.
The hearing is continuing at Poplar Coroner’s Court in London before Senior Coroner Mary Hassell, with Caroline’s mother Christine and sister Jody watching the proceedings via Zoom.
The Crown Prosecution Service lawyers, Metropolitan Police and London Ambulance Service also watching the proceedings online, the Mirror reports.
Caroline’s friends’ father, Stephen Teasdale, was the first witness statement to be given remotely. He was sent to the scene when Caroline’s sister phoned her friend Louise to say she couldn’t get into her address.
He said: “We came to the flat and tried to force entry. We thought about phoning the police but knew the landlady … We got the key and let ourselves into the flat.”
He added: “…Jody started CPR. We were giving CPR for somewhere between five and ten minutes, then the police took over.”
Paramedic David O’Toole said he entered the property later and found two women ‘looking extremely distressed’ on the sofa.
He said the victim had been dead for a number of hours and the women had last seen her alive at 10:30am that day.
One of the crew pointed out a handwritten note placed on an open magazine on the coffee table with ‘Lewis’ written on the front.
The note stated: “I hope one day me and Lewis can find harmony.”
The court explained that no alcohol was found in Caroline’s system, but she had been taking drugs to treat insomnia. A post mortem found no signs of assault to her body and the drugs to be of non-lethal levels.
A psychiatrist who treated Caroline, Dr Tamsin Lewis, presented a witness statement to court.
She explained she was contacted by Caroline’s assistant on December 17th 2019 after the row with Lewis Burton that led to her arrest.
Dr Lewis explained that Caroline was ‘incredibly distressed’ in the middle of a ‘media crisis’ and ‘could not sleep’.
She added that Caroline said it was nothing more than a ‘lover’s tiff’ but was concerned about the ‘media storm’.
Dr Lewis added that Caroline did not admit to suicidal thoughts, but did admit to excessive drinking to ‘numb herself’. Dr Lewis prescribed sleeping tablets and antibiotics to treat Caroline’s finger injury she gained in the fight with her boyfriend.
In her boyfriend’s witness statement, he said: “The last time he saw Caroline she was very upset, in fact devastated, she was not in a good place emotionally…
“What was worrying her most was the police case and losing her presenting job on Love Island, plus not being able to see me.”
Caroline Flack, 40, took her life at her flat in Stoke Newington in north-east London on February 15th, days after learning her trial over an alleged attack on boyfriend Lewis Burton was going ahead.
Caroline pleaded not guilty and her boyfriend maintained her innocence – her family slammed prosecutors for pursuing the case, calling it a ‘show trial’.
In an unpublished Instagram post, released by Caroline’s family, she stepped down from hosting Love Island saying her ‘whole world and future was swept from under my feet’ after her arrest.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, the Crown Prosecution Service said in a statement: “Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Caroline Flack
“It is normal practice for prosecutors to hold a debriefing in complex or sensitive cases after they have ended.
“This has taken place and found that the case was handled appropriately and in line with our published legal guidance.”
If you are struggling, you can contact the Samaritans free helpline on 116 123 or find out more here.
A huge change to driving tests is being introduced at the end of September
Here’s everything you need to know…
Driving tests are set to change from the end of September, with a new UK theory test to be implemented.
People taking the test will sit a different driving theory test from Monday September 28th – the change was originally meant to happen on April 14th but was postponed due to coronavirus.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has announced they’ll be using a video clip instead of written scenarios, with the switch being brought about to help boost accessibility.
Learners will watch a driving clip of up to 30 seconds before answering three multiple-choice questions – you’ll be able to watch the clip as many times as you want.
These clips will include a vehicle driving through the countryside or a town centre, with questions about safe overtaking or motorcyclists being considered vulnerable road users.
According to the DVSA, the change is coming as a result of research which found people with disabilities and reading difficulties felt more comfortable with video-based questions.
Mark Winn, DVSA chief driving examiner, said: “Being able to drive can be life-changing and the DVSA is committed to helping everyone access the opportunities driving can offer.
“We have worked closely with road safety experts and learners to create a theory test which fully tests a candidate’s knowledge of the rules of the road and is more accessible.”
The DVSA worked alongside the British Dyslexia Association, the British Deaf Association, and the National Autistic Society to change the exam.
John Rogers, from Disability Driving Instructors, commented on the move: “A picture paints a thousand words, especially for candidates with special educational needs.
“Having to go back and forth between the text in the written scenario and the written questions and answers was a big obstacle to understanding what was required. Video scenarios should prove much easier to follow and the questions will hopefully appear more relevant.”
As it stands, learners have to read a case study then answer 5 multiple-choice questions, as well as take a hazard perception exam – you must pass both sections of the theory test before you can take the practical test.
For more info head over to the government site here.
Remembering PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes eight years after their tragic deaths
Rest in peace.
Today, Friday September 18th, marks eight years since PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes were tragically murdered while doing their jobs.
The two GMP Police Constables were killed while serving and protecting the public, as they responded to a hoax call in Mottram in Longdendale, Greater Manchester.
At around 11am on that tragic day, the two officers attended an address after receiving a false report that a concrete slab had been thrown through a window.
PC Bone, 32, and PC Hughes, 23, were then ambushed by Dale Cregan, who fired off 32 shots from a Glock pistol in just 31 seconds, before throwing a hand grenade.
PC Bone was pronounced dead at the scene, while PC Hughes died later on, after reaching the hospital.
Their tragic deaths were met with anger and shock, and the next day a moments silence was held by Greater Manchester Police at 11am in remembrance. The Union Flag was lowered to half-mast at GMP’s headquarters as a mark of respect.
Their funerals were held over October 3rd and 4th at Manchester Cathedral, and large parts of the city centre came to a standstill as huge crowds attended to pay their respects to the brave officers.
On June 13th 2013, Cregan was sentenced to whole life imprisonment at Preston Crown Court following his trial – meaning he’ll be locked up until he dies.
On the eighth anniversary, Hyde and Hattersley GMP took to Twitter to pay their respects to the fallen officers.
They wrote: “Today marks the 8th anniversary of the tragic loss of PC’s Nicola and Fiona. A private service will be held with close family, and Chief Supt Allsop.
“The family have given permission for this to be live streamed here at 10.50 for those wishing to pay their respects.”
RIP to Fiona and Nicola, gone but never forgotten x
Chester Zoo ‘faces financial ruin and closure’ if the government fails to deliver funding
Chester Zoo and other UK attractions potentially face closure due to lack of financial support from the government despite earlier promises, according to an MP.
Justin Madders, Labour MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, has slammed the government for ‘talking a good game but failing on delivery’.
The UK government promised £100m to the country’s zoos and aquariums to help them recover from months of financial loss during the coronavirus lockdown.
Three months later and the attractions have yet to receive any of the money, according to the Liverpool Echo.
Mr Madders explains that Chester Zoo will face ‘financial ruin’ unless the support and funds are provided.
Madders explained: “Sadly this is yet another example of the government talking a good game but failing on delivery.
“I understand that the restrictive criteria applied to the fund mean that it will be virtually impossible for most zoos to qualify for support.
“It is typical of this two-faced, insincere Government to claim they are offering help to everyone when in reality they are not, just like the three million people who have been excluded from any financial support at all.
“I am concerned that zoos like my own Chester Zoo will face financial ruin unless the Government wake up to the reality that their support fund is an illusion.
“Unfortunately, I fear they already know this and are content to pretend to be helping when they have no intention of doing so at all.”
The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) said it is ‘virtually impossible’ for zoos to qualify for support under the current parameters.
BIAZA added that most zoos will not benefit from the funding. Dr Cerian Tatchley, BIAZA’s acting joint director, said: “Without urgent changes, the Government is putting at risk some of the UK’s best-loved zoos and aquariums.
“Our zoos, aquariums and safari parks are reliant on admissions to keep going, and so the lockdown earlier this year has wreaked financial devastation that will be felt for years to come.
“While the sector is grateful that the government has demonstrated its support through providing £100 million to save zoos, it is frustrating that not one zoo has yet benefited from the new Zoo Animals Fund.
Dr Tatchley continued: “BIAZA has been clear in our regular meetings with Defra and the minister that restrictions on the fund means very few zoos will be eligible to receive any support and this is being borne out.
“While we expect that more zoos will apply for the fund over the next few months, many of England’s best zoos and aquariums will still not receive any support from this fund.”
Jamie Christon, chief operating officer at Chester Zoo, said: “The Government has said it is continuing to talk to large zoos like us to explore ways of supporting us and our vital efforts to prevent extinction. But still there is nothing on the table.
“After significant time spent in lengthy and what have been seemingly very positive discussions with Government representatives for several months, this is extremely disappointing for us.”
A Government spokesperson said: “We understand the challenges zoos have been facing due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“That is why we put in place this specialist fund specifically to ensure zoos facing severe financial difficulties can provide the best possible care for their animals.
“We are rapidly processing current applications and we stand ready to support any future requests to the fund.”
Applications for the funding are open until November 16th.