Dorset

Bestival drugs death accused 'tried to get help'

Louella Fletcher-Michie Image copyright Zoe Barling/PA Wire
Image caption Louella Fletcher-Michie was found dead in a wooded area on the edge of the Bestival site

A man accused of killing his girlfriend tried to get help as she lay dying after taking drugs at a music festival, a court has heard.

Louella Fletcher-Michie, 24, the daughter of Holby City actor John Michie, was found dead in woodland near the Bestival site in Dorset in 2017.

Boyfriend Ceon Broughton, 29, tried to call and text a friend to raise the alarm, Winchester Crown Court heard.

He denies manslaughter and supplying the class A drug 2CP.

Previously the court was told the defendant did little to help Ms Fletcher-Michie for six hours, because he was already on a suspended sentence and feared a possible prison term.

Image copyright Steve Parsons/PA
Image caption The jury has heard Mr Broughton has admitted supplying 2CP to Ms Fletcher-Michie and her friend at Glastonbury in 2017

Stephen Kamlish QC, defending, said Mr Broughton had texted his friend Ezra Campbell, saying: "I can't get bagged."

He also said the defendant had texted "send meds", and sent an audio recording of Ms Fletcher-Michie having a "bad trip".

Ms Fletcher-Michie was screaming in the message, the court was told.

Mr Broughton said, "Roger that, roger that, affirmative, affirmative," as she screamed, according to a transcript read out in court.

Giving evidence, Mr Campbell said: "I was confused because one minute it sounded like it might be OK... [but] when I heard that, it sounded bad.

"At first he said to me it was cool, like... he felt he could kind of like deal with the situation."

Mr Campbell said medical staff were eventually sent to the wrong location on the festival site, because of confusion over place names.

In later evidence, he said Ms Fletcher-Michie had "managed to get her drugs back" after they were confiscated by security guards on her arrival at the festival site.

"What, by sweet-talking somebody?" Mr Kamlish asked.

"Yeah, they took them from her but she got them back," Mr Campbell replied.

He said the security guard also gave her some beer.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption John Michie and wife Carol Fletcher-Michie, seen here leaving court, drove to the Bestival site to try and help their daughter

Festival worker Olivia Moedt broke down in court as she described a phone call at about 19:00 BST from Ms Fletcher-Michie's "terrified" mother.

She said Carol Fletcher-Michie had heard her daughter on the phone "screaming like an animal... in the forest".

In a statement, Liam Mayet, a festival manager, said a search was conducted of the only wooded area on the site, a zone called the Ambient Forest, but nothing was found.

"My impression was that the female may have moved on... In my experience the majority of people who have a bad trip recover quite quickly," he said.

Mr Broughton emerged from woods outside the Bestival site some time after 23:00, the court heard.

Image copyright Dorset Police
Image caption Ceon Broughton could be seen laughing and smiling during the 50-minute video previously shown to the jury

He asked security guard Wayne Harrington to help find his girlfriend, who had taken an "overdose", the jury was told.

Mr Harrington carried out an initial 10-minute torchlight search of the forest before handing over to a colleague.

Mr Kamlish suggested the second guard then left Mr Broughton to search in the woods on his own, without a torch.

The barrister said his client complained about the guards' uncaring behaviour in a text to his girlfriend's mother.

Previously the court was told Ms Fletcher-Michie's parents drove 130 miles (209km) from London to the festival at Lulworth Castle to find their daughter after hearing her screeching "like a wild animal" on the phone.

Earlier, the jury in the case was reduced to 11 after the judge discharged a woman "for personal reasons".

The trial has previously heard Mr Broughton has pleaded guilty to supplying 2CP to Ms Fletcher-Michie and her friend at Glastonbury Festival in 2017.

The trial continues.

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