Caroline Flack mobbed outside court ahead of assault hearing
PUBLISHED: 10:15 23 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:08 23 December 2019
Love Island presenter Caroline Flack has denied assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton.
Flack, 40, who grew up in Norfolk, was arrested after an alleged domestic incident earlier this month.
She is charged with assaulting former professional tennis player and model Mr Burton, 27, by beating, at her flat in Islington, north London, on December 12.
Flack, who has stepped down as host of the upcoming winter series of the ITV2 dating show, arrived at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court on Monday wearing a black coat, scarf and boots and was escorted into court by police, who pushed back a waiting pack of photographers and video camera operators.
Burton earlier arrived at court separately from his girlfriend, wearing a navy parka jacket with a fur-lined hood.
Appearing in front of District Judge Julia Newton, Flack walked past the packed public gallery accompanied by a police officer and a member of her legal team.
Flack wiped her eyes as she sat down before confirming her details.
She then pleaded not guilty to the assault charge.
The court heard Mr Burton is not supporting the prosecution.
Paul Morris, defending, said Mr Burton "has never supported" the case against Flack.
"He is not the victim, as he would say, he was a witness," Mr Morris said.
Mr Morris continued: "He would not suggest that the injuries are significant in the way the prosecution submit."
Mr Morris made an application to have a bail condition banning her from talking to her boyfriend lifted.
He said: "They had been in a relationship all of this year and he appears in court today to support her and they remain a couple
"She wants to spend time with her partner. If the conditions were lifted there would be no concerns.
"It's not an irrelevant point, it's Christmas, it's New Year, she's suffered enough."
Flack began to cry into her hand as Mr Morris spoke.
"She is in the public eye - this case has been scrutinised, she will conduct herself properly," Mr Morris added.
Katie Weiss, prosecuting, replied: "Mr Burton is a victim, he received significant injury to his head."
Ms Weiss said the trial would use body-worn footage from the police officers at the scene and a 999 call.
She discussed the contents of the three-to-four-minute 999 call.
"He made an allegation regarding his girlfriend Caroline," she said, of Mr Burton.
"The first police officer arrived some eight minutes later.
"He knocked on the door and it was opened by both of them.
"Both were covered in blood and in fact one of the police officers likened the scene to a horror movie."
In reference to the 999 call, Ms Weiss continued: "He is almost begging the operator to send help.
She added: "He had been asleep and had been hit in the head with a lamp. His face was covered in blood.
"She had seen text messages which had led her to believe he was cheating on her."
Ms Weiss said Mr Burton told the operator: "I've just woken up, she has cracked my head open.
"She tried to kill me mate."
Ms Weiss continued: "It is clear the defendant is manipulative towards him.
"She calls him vile and says he has ruined her life when she has ruined her own life by committing the assault."
Ms Weiss told the court Flack was disruptive while in police custody.
She said: "Her behaviour gets worse, she flips over a table and then has to be restrained on the ground."
The prosecutor added that Flack had "flouted" her bail condition not to have any direct or indirect contact with Mr Burton.
"She breached this almost immediately by posting a message on Instagram by writing to my boyfriend I love you," Ms Weiss said.
Flack put her head in her hands as the judge refused an application to remove bail conditions preventing her from contacting Burton directly or indirectly and from attending his address.
Burton, in the public gallery, also put his hand to his face, before the couple left the courtroom separately.
She was released on conditional bail before her trial on March 4, which is expected to last a day-and-a-half.
Flack released a statement following her court appearance.
She posted on her Instagram Stories: "Thankfully I know a lot of you will not believe all that you have heard and read following today's court hearing ... thank you for your continued support and love....
"It's going to be a relief when I am able to give my side of the story, when I'm allowed to x."
Mr Burton has previously spoken out in support of the presenter, claiming she has become the subject of a "witch hunt" following her arrest.
In an emotional Instagram post on Sunday evening, Flack wrote: "This is the worst time of my life. "I don't know where to go to. Where to look. Who to trust. Or who I even am."
Irish TV presenter Laura Whitmore will take over hosting Love Island and companion show Aftersun when filming commences in South Africa in January.
Flack, grew up near Thetford and went to school in Watton. She rose to fame in the early 2000s, presenting the International Pepsi Show and co-presenting TMI on BBC Two and won Strictly Come Dancing in 2014.