The lawyer accused of pursuing a “show trial” against Caroline Flack insists he made the right decision in prosecuting her.

In a highly unusual intervention, Ed Beltrami asked what would have happened if the Crown Prosecution Service had dropped the case and the Love Island presenter had then attacked lover Lewis Burton again.

CPS boss Mr Beltrami admitted the case had troubled him since 40-year-old Caroline took her own life.

But he said in an interview with Wales on Sunday: “You’ve got to do what you think is right. You cannot do what you think is popular.”

He added he had never heard of her before the file landed on his desk.

Caroline died on February 15, weeks before she was due to stand trial for an assault on model and former tennis pro Lewis, 28, at their £1million North London flat on December 12. She was charged without Lewis’ backing.

Caroline Flack was charged with assault by beating following an argument with boyfriend Lewis Burton

There was a backlash against the CPS. But Mr Beltrami said the protection of domestic abuse victims relies on the CPS being steadfast.

He said: “You don’t just fold at the first sign of trouble. The fact the victim doesn’t want to know... you’ve got to look at whether you can prosecute without the support of the victim.

“Domestic abuse is a separate category by itself – [with a] high risk of the offending escalating.

“The guy phoned the police, he was terrified he was going to be killed. He’s been hit over the head with a lamp, he’s got a cut to his head, and she’s made an admission to the police at the scene.

Caroline died on February 15, weeks before she was due to stand trial for an assault on model and former tennis pro Lewis, 28, at their £1million North London flat on December 12
Lewis Curtis appears at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court on December 23

“In the principles of domestic abuse you say, ‘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 evidence of the cut to the head and the mess in the flat which has been filmed by the police’.

“But obviously when you make that decision to proceed with the case you have absolutely no idea the defendant is going to take her own life. You can’t possibly anticipate that sort of thing.”

Mr Beltrami said a decision in the case was firstly made by the CPS’s 24-hour Direct service before it was referred to him for a final ruling.

Floral tributes outside the former home of TV presenter Caroline Flack
In a statement following her death Caroline’s management team said the CPS had pursued her even though they knew she was vulnerable

At a first court appearance it was said that when police arrived to investigate, Caroline and Lewis were “covered in blood”, and one officer “likened the scene to a horror movie”.

After Caroline died, her management team said the CPS had known she was vulnerable.

Blaming prosecutors for her death, they added: “The CPS should look at themselves and how they pursued a show trial that was not only without merit but not in the public interest.”

But in an interview with Wales on Sunday, Mr Beltrami said: “Supposing we had made a decision not to proceed, and she goes back to live with the boyfriend and loses her temper again – hits him a bit harder with a lamp and he dies. How would that look then?”

Mr Beltrami, who is starting a new job as Wales’ chief prosecutor, was a CPS boss in London at the time.

When informed of his remarks, Caroline’s family declined to comment.

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