Dorset

Bestival drugs death: Boyfriend guilty of manslaughter

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Media captionIn footage shown to jurors by the defence, Louella Fletcher-Michie was filmed playing with fairy lights in a tent at the festival

A man who gave his girlfriend drugs at a festival and filmed her as she died has been found guilty of manslaughter.

Louella Fletcher-Michie was found dead in woodland near the Bestival site in Dorset after taking the drug 2CP.

Ceon Broughton did little to help his girlfriend - the daughter of Holby City actor John Michie - for six hours as he feared breaching a suspended jail term.

He filmed Ms Fletcher-Michie, 24, and branded her a "drama queen" as she lay dying on 11 September 2017.

Broughton, 30, of Island Centre Way, Enfield, London, was also found guilty at Winchester Crown Court of supplying the Class A drug 2CP.

Both verdicts were unanimous and he is due to be sentenced on Friday morning.

Speaking outside court, Mr Michie said: "Regardless of the outcome of this harrowing trial there were never going to be any winners.

"We began our life sentence on what would have been Louella's 25th birthday. Ceon's life sentence is knowing that he didn't help Louella to live."

Image copyright Zoe Barling/PA Wire
Image caption Louella Fletcher-Michie died after a "significant period of suffering", jurors heard

The trial heard the pair had gone into woodland to take drugs on the eve of Ms Fletcher-Michie's 25th birthday but Broughton had "bumped up" his girlfriend's dose.

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

The court heard the couple liked to film each other when they were taking drugs and jurors were shown footage from the day in which Broughton could be seen playing with a fidget spinner.

Broughton then filmed his girlfriend as she became "disturbed, agitated, and then seriously ill" and continued recording after her apparent death.

Image copyright Dorset Police
Image caption Ceon Broughton will be sentenced on Friday

An angry exchange at court on 21 February between Ms Fletcher-Michie's father and Broughton can now be reported.

During a break in proceedings, Mr Michie shouted "evil, evil" and "not even sorry" as his family walked towards an exit.

Broughton grabbed a wooden table and threw it against a wall, breaking it into pieces.

He then stormed into the waiting area of another courtroom and damaged a water cooler before being restrained by police and his legal team.

Image copyright John Michie
Image caption John Michie said: "Ceon's life sentence is knowing that he didn't help Louella to live"

During the trial, the court heard Broughton had contacted friends and Ms Fletcher-Michie's family, sending them maps showing his location.

Her parents drove 130 miles (209km) from London to the festival at Lulworth Castle but when Ms Fletcher-Michie's brother Sam also contacted Broughton, urging him to seek medical help, he called her a "drama queen" and told him to "call back in an hour".

Mr Fletcher-Michie told the court that when he asked Broughton what drugs his sister had taken, Broughton told him it was 2CP but added: "I bumped it up a bit."

Defence barrister Stephen Kamlish QC said that "no-one has ever been known to die from taking this drug [2CP] or taking an overdose".

Jurors heard Broughton failed to act because he had been handed a 24-week prison sentence, suspended for one year, a month before.

Image copyright Dorset Police
Image caption Ms Fletcher-Michie was found dead by a security steward 400m from the festival's hospital tent

Broughton had already pleaded guilty to supplying 2CP to Ms Fletcher-Michie and her friend at Glastonbury Festival in 2017.

Following the trial, senior investigating officer Neil Devoto called Broughton's actions "selfish and shameful".

He said: "Even when she lay motionless, struggling for breath and dying, he continued to take photos and videos and message friends.

"All he needed to do was walk a few hundred metres to an on-site hospital."

Simon Jones, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said Broughton's "callous" actions decided Ms Fletcher-Michie's "destiny, depriving her of a future".

He added: "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 him having supplied drugs to Louella."

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