Boyfriend found guilty of the manslaughter of Louella Fletcher-Michie
A musician who supplied his girlfriend with an illegal Class A drug at a festival has today been convicted of her manslaughter by gross negligence.
Ceon Broughton, 30, did not seek medical help for Louella Fletcher-Michie, 24, until six hours after she suffered a dangerous reaction to the hallucinogenic 2CP at Bestival in Dorset on 10 September 2017.
The court heard how Broughton - who was serving a 24-week suspended sentence at the time - failed to take urgent action which medical experts said would almost certainly have saved Miss Fletcher-Michie’s life. Tragically, the pair were only 400 metres away from the onsite hospital.
The jury were also shown harrowing mobile phone footage, filmed by Broughton himself over the course of six hours. They heard how he reportedly ignored desperate requests from her family to seek help and referred to the dancer as a “drama queen” as she was suffering from the effects of the drug.
Winchester Crown Court also saw text message evidence which showed Broughton attempting to cover his tracks on the fact he supplied the substances. In a message to one friend, he wrote: “If the fam asks, say a ra don (sic) gave us 2C-P.” When the friend advised him to seek medical help for Ms Fletcher-Michie, he replied: "I can't get bagged" [go to prison].
Broughton had also texted "send meds", and sent an audio recording of Ms Fletcher-Michie screaming as part of her "bad trip" to the same friend.
Simon Jones of the Crown Prosecution Service said: “This case represents every parent’s worst nightmare. When Louella’s parents became aware their daughter was not well they did everything they could to help her, immediately making the trip from their home in London to the festival in Dorset.
“Tragically, when they arrived at the site, Louella, their much loved daughter, had already died. The next day Louella should have been celebrating her 25th birthday.
“He failed to take reasonable care of Louella and the jury’s verdict today reflects that this failing was a substantial contribution to Louella’s death.”
Building the Case
Simon Jones of the Crown Prosecution Service said: “This was a complex case where the prosecution has proved that Ceon Broughton owed a duty of care to Louella Fletcher-Michie.
“He supplied Louella with the drug 2CP. As he himself put it, he ‘bumped it up’ by either increasing its dose or mixing it with another drug.
“For around six hours he watched Louella’s suffering and ultimate death, filming her at times on his mobile phone. By acting in such callous way, he decided on her destiny, depriving her of a future. These were not the actions of a loving, caring or reasonable boyfriend.
“He did nothing to prevent her death, ignoring the requests of Louella’s parents and family for him to get her the medical help she so desperately needed. He could have done that easily as he was only 80 metres from help and 400 metres from an onsite hospital.
“At the time Louella died, Ceon Broughton had a suspended sentence of imprisonment hanging over him. His actions, and most importantly, his inactions were driven by his desire for self-preservation and the selfish need not to draw the authorities’ attention to this, having supplied drugs to Louella. He was fully aware of his conduct.
“Today the jury have found that Ceon Broughton’s negligence was grossly exceptional and have convicted him of both manslaughter and supplying class A drugs.
“We would like to thank the dedication and professionalism of the Dorset Police investigation team, the witnesses who came forward and, most importantly, Louella’s parents and family. Our thoughts are with them at this painful time.”
1 March update: Ceon Broughton has been sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in prison for manslaughter manslaughter by gross negligence and supplying class A drugs.
Notes to editors
- Simon Jones is Senior Crown Advocate for the Crown Prosecution Service