THE tragic death of the television celebrity Caroline Flack demonstrates the appalling wrongs being inflicted by the prosecution system under the hackneyed cliché of "zero tolerance" ("Flack’s boyfriend says his ‘heart is broken’ by her death", The Herald, February 17).

No right-minded person would ever suggest that domestic violence or abuse is acceptable. It is absolutely not. It is a serious breach of trust and it must be eradicated. Those affected by it must be protected. Those who engage in it must be stopped. However, dealing with the problem must not result in a bad situation becoming a tragedy.

The current attitude to dealing with domestic incidents is all too often disproportionate and a wrong of itself. It affects men and women alike. Here, a talented and successful woman has died. She was probably alone and terrified. All the time, prosecutors and police will no doubt have been working away to bring the case to trial. As that brutal and all too mechanical process was under way, a woman was descending into sheer despair and then death. The proceedings she faced locked her out of her own life where she would have found emotional support.

I empathise with her. I have been there, but I somehow managed to carry on. Hope drives me on. Some reading this will recognise the situation. Others will in time experience the horrors too. We need to put an end to adhering to the short-sighted mantra of being tough on crime, when so doing only makes a bad situation worse. That takes emotional intelligence and moral courage at the political level and compassion and discretion at the prosecuting level. But most of all, it requires maturity and love in order to lift us out of the bitter morass of blame and celebration in the public humiliations of others that all too often characterises our society.

Name and address supplied.

THE death of Caroline Flack is of course a tragedy and the media has to take a measure of responsibility for this through their hounding of this poor woman. The same media who hypocritically now shred crocodile tears at her untimely death.

However, before we are quick to judge others, little is talked about the shared responsibility many of us have in her death. It is the elephant in the room and simply not highlighted as we don’t want to face up to our potential complicity.

Putting it simply, if there was not a market for this salacious nonsense it would not exist. As a society we must take a long hard look as to who is feeding this machine – us. We are complicit, with many responding on social media to continue to feed this frenzy.

Sections of the press vilify and attack individuals, feeding off a voracious public hunger for sordid stories. If no one bought papers highlighting this, or viewed online content containing this it would not exist. We individually have the ability to put a stop to this bile.

So, if we are to be brutally honest with ourselves, those who indulge in feeding the media machine by viewing certain articles or who respond on social media all share a responsibility. It is maybe time we took a long hard look in the mirror as a society and faced this harsh reality.

Alex Orr, Edinburgh EH9.