Rapper's conviction for killing Holby City actor's daughter overturned

Rapper who left Holby City actor’s daughter to die after giving her drugs at Bestival has his maslaughter conviction OVERTURNED because prosecution ‘had not proved she would have survived if he’d called for help’

  • Ceon Broughton, 31, supplied Louella Fletcher-Michie with hallucinogenic 2-CP
  • She died after taking drug while Broughton recorded footage on mobile phone
  • John Michie’s daughter was found dead in woods at the edge of the festival site 
  • Broughton was convicted in March 2019 of manslaughter by gross negligence 
  • He was also jailed for more than eight years but conviction was overturned today

A rapper jailed for killing the daughter of a Holby City actor with party drugs saw his manslaughter conviction quashed at the Court of Appeal today.

Ceon Broughton, 31, supplied John Michie’s daughter Louella Fletcher-Michie, who was his girlfriend, with the hallucinogenic intoxicant 2-CP at Bestival in Dorset.

But his conviction was overturned after his barrister said prosecutors had ‘failed to prove’ that she would have survived had she received treatment by a certain point. 

Miss Fletcher-Michie died after taking a strengthened form of the Class A substance while Broughton recorded footage on his mobile phone for six hours.  

She was found dead in woods at the edge of the festival site at Lulworth Castle on the morning of her 25th birthday on September 11, 2017.

Broughton, who raps under the stage name CEONRPG, was convicted in March 2019 of manslaughter by gross negligence and jailed for eight years and six months.

But at the High Court in London today, Lord Burnett quashed the conviction, saying: ‘In our view, this is one of those rare cases where the expert evidence was all that the jury had to assist them in answering the question on causation.

Ceon Broughton pictured with girlfriend Louella Fletcher-Michie, who died in September 2017

‘That expert evidence was not capable of establishing causation to the criminal standard.

‘Miss Darlow’s final submission that at 9.10pm Louella was deprived of a 90 per cent chance of survival was an accurate reflection of Professor Deakin’s evidence but, for the reasons we have explained, that is not enough.

‘Put another way, if an operation carried a personal 10% risk of mortality, both patient and clinicians would be able confidently to say that the chances of survival were very high or very good but none could be sure.

‘In respectful disagreement with the judge, we conclude that the appellant’s main argument, that the case should have been withdrawn from the jury, is established.

‘Applying the Galbraith test, taken at its highest, the evidence adduced by the prosecution was incapable of proving causation to the criminal standard of proof. The appeal against conviction for manslaughter must be allowed.’ 

The trial at Winchester Crown Court heard Broughton did not get help because he had been handed a suspended jail term a month earlier and feared the consequences.

Broughton (left, pictured in February 2019) has had his conviction overturned for the manslaughter of Miss Fletcher-Michie (right), who died after taking the drug 2C-P at Bestival

At the appeal hearing, Broughton’s barrister Stephen Kamlish QC argued the conviction was unsafe because prosecutors had ‘failed to prove’ that Miss Fletcher-Michie would have survived had she received treatment by a certain point.

He also argued Broughton’s sentence was ‘excessive’ in any event.

Mr Kamlish QC told the Court of Appeal: ‘The Crown cannot prove, now or at trial, that she would have lived had she been treated.

‘What the Crown are arguing now is that by depriving the deceased of the chance of surviving via medical treatment she would have lived but that also means she might or might not have lived.

‘That is hardly the correct text on which the Crown can prove causation. The appellant was trying to get help. So he cannot be described as criminally grossly negligent.’

He said Broughton had felt unable to leave Miss Fletcher-Michie alone in the woods while she was suffering a ‘bad trip’, and he had not realised she was at risk of death.

Mr Kamlish added: ‘So in our submission when one looks at the learned judge’s direction as to the ease or difficulty of obtaining help, if Louella could walk by herself it was difficult.’

He said Professor Charles Deakin addressed whether medical intervention could have helped at trial while other experts focused on the cause of death.

Mr Kamlish said the prosecution evidence did not prove causation against the defendant.

In her final moments captured on camera, Miss Fletcher-Michie said: ‘My mum and dad, my brother and sister, I love you lot.’

Her mother, Carol Fletcher-Michie, said she ‘dropped everything’ and travelled with her husband to the festival site after making contact with Broughton and hearing her daughter in the background.

Actor John Michie and his wife Carol Fletcher-Michie at Winchester Crown Court on February 27, 2019

Broughton, from Enfield, North London denied but was convicted by the jury of manslaughter and supplying class A drugs.

His conviction for manslaughter was quashed. He did not appeal his conviction for supplying class A drugs.

Broughton previously admitted supplying drugs to Miss Fletcher-Michie at Glastonbury festival, in June 2017, and was in breach of a suspended prison sentence imposed for possessing a lock knife and a Stanley knife blade.

Prosecutors told jurors during his trial that Broughton failed to take ‘reasonable’ steps to seek medical help for Miss Fletcher-Michie.

They said he did not get help because he had been handed the suspended jail term a month earlier and feared the consequences.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, Mr Justice Sweeney and Mr Justice Murray gave their ruling this morning. 

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