TV presenter Caroline Flack pleads not guilty to assaulting boyfriend

By Mattha Busby

Caroline Flack, the former Love Island presenter, has pleaded not guilty to assaulting her boyfriend with a lamp and will go to trial in March facing claims she inflicted a “significant” head injury to him.

The 40-year-old sobbed at Highbury Corner magistrates court and repeatedly looked towards the public gallery.

The judge released Flack on bail with conditions that stop her having any contact with her boyfriend, Lewis Burton, before a trial on 4 March at the same court.

Flack, who has stepped down as host of the winter series of the ITV2 dating show, is alleged to have hit Burton, 27, over the head with a lamp.

Flack’s lawyer, Paul Morris, told the district judge, Julia Newton, that Burton does not support the prosecution. “He is not a victim, he is a witness,” Morris said.

Katie Weiss, prosecuting, said: “Mr Burton is a victim, he received significant injury to his head. He said he had been asleep and was hit over the head by Caroline with a lamp, causing a visible cut to his head. She had also smashed a glass and she had sustained an injury.”

Weiss said Burton called 999 and when officers arrived at the scene both were covered in blood.

Burton has spoken out in support of the presenter, claiming she has become the subject of a “witch-hunt” since her arrest.

Flack was mobbed by photographers as she arrived at court on Monday morning before being escorted into the building by police.

She stood in front of the glass-enclosed dock to confirm her name, address, date of birth and nationality before the single charge was read.

When the charge was put to Flack, she answered: “Not guilty.”

After her court appearance, Flack released a statement on Instagram in which she thanked her followers for their continued support, adding: “It’s going to be a relief when I am able to give my side of the story, when I’m allowed to x.”

The court heard Flack was arrested and charged with assault by beating after police were called to her flat in Islington, north London, on 12 December.

She subsequently quit the next winter series of Love Island, which is to be filmed in South Africa next month. Flack was replaced by Laura Whitmore, but ITV left open the possibility of her returning.