Dorset

Bestival drugs death: Jury told 'not to point moral finger'

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 jury has been told not to "point the moral finger" at a man accused of failing to save his girlfriend's life after she took drugs at a music festival.

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.

Prosecutors have tried to "whip up emotion" against Ceon Broughton, Winchester Crown Court was told.

He denies manslaughter.

The 30-year-old has also denied supplying the Class A drug 2CP.

His trial has previously heard the pair had gone into woodland to take drugs on the eve of Ms Fletcher-Michie's 25th birthday.

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

She was found dead by a security steward 400m from the festival's hospital tent on 11 September 2017.

Mr Broughton did little to help her for six hours as her health worsened because he was already on a suspended sentence and feared a possible prison term, the court has heard.

Stephen Kamlish QC, defending, said the case was not about "moral responsibility".

In his closing speech, he said prosecutors had tried to "whip up some emotion" by describing the defendant as a "coward" and "despicable".

"You might be tempted to find the moral responsibility that this man obviously feels might be the driver for you to come to your conclusion," he added.

"For example, he shouldn't have been thinking about himself or playing with his finger spinner - tempting to point the moral finger."

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

He said Mr Broughton tried to get help by contacting her family and friends and sending them maps showing his location.

The barrister said the jury was not disadvantaged by Mr Broughton's failure to give evidence in the trial.

He said: "He could have got into the witness box and he could have cried as he has done quietly throughout this trial.

"He could have said, 'I'm sorry'. But how much could he actually have helped you?"

He said his client had filmed his girlfriend that evening because "he did not fear that she was at risk of dying... however stupid that view may be".

The jury was told it could not convict the defendant of gross negligence manslaughter unless it was sure he had supplied the fatal dose of 2CP.

Mr Broughton, of Island Centre Way, Enfield, London, has pleaded guilty to supplying 2CP to Ms Fletcher-Michie and her friend at Glastonbury Festival in 2017.

The trial continues.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019: Reference to the amount of 2CP Ms Fletcher-Michie had taken has been removed from this article after comments from court were clarified.

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

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