Caroline Flack pleads not guilty to assault

By Henry Vaughan and Jess Glass, PA

Love Island presenter Caroline Flack has pleaded not guilty to assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton.

Flack, 40, who has stepped down as host of the upcoming winter series of the ITV2 dating show, was arrested after a domestic incident earlier this month.

She was charged with assaulting former professional tennis player and model Burton, 27, by beating at her flat in Islington, north London, on December 12.

Flack was mobbed by photographers as she arrived at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on Monday morning wearing a black coat, scarf and boots 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 that her nationality is British before the single charge was read out in court.

Her lawyer Paul Morris interrupted proceedings to tell District Judge Julia Newton that Burton does not support the prosecution.

“He is not a victim, he is a witness,” he said.

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

Prosecutor Katie Weiss said: “He is a victim, he sustained a significant injury to his head.”

Lewis Burton arrives at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court (Joe Giddens/PA)

Burton arrived at court separately from his girlfriend wearing a navy parka jacket with a fur-lined hood and watched proceedings from the packed public gallery.

He has previously spoken out in support of the presenter, claiming she has become the subject of a “witch hunt” following her arrest.

Flack and Burton unfollowed each other on Instagram ahead of the hearing.

In an emotional post to the social networking site 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.