Louella Fletcher-Michie's family 'stunned' after rapper boyfriend who filmed her dying from overdose FREED from prisonAugust 18, 2020
A DRUG-dealing rapper who left Holby City star John Michie’s daughter for dead in woodland was sensationally cleared by appeal judges today.
Ceon Broughton, 31, had his manslaughter conviction quashed — shocking police, prosecutors and Louella Fletcher-Michie’s family.
Broughton supplied Louella, 25, with the hallucinogenic 2-CP drug at a festival in 2017, then filmed her overdosing for six hours.
He was jailed for eight-and-a-half years after being convicted of manslaughter by gross negligence.
However High Court judges today ruled prosecutors failed to prove Louella could have lived if Broughton had called for help.
The decision is said to have stunned the Michie family.
A source close to them told The Sun last night: “They have been totally taken by surprise by this. It’s a big shock.”
Police and the CPS shared their surprise, and were considering their next steps.
A legal source close to the case said: “Nobody expected this. He filmed her overdosing for six hours on his phone. He knew exactly what he was doing.
“Nobody can understand this. It’s just awful. It’s not gone down well with the police and the CPS. There was so much time when he could have got help. This was a truly disturbing case.”
Broughton’s original trial heard he had a history of plying girlfriends with drugs then capturing them suffering on his iPhone.
He was also said to have an unhealthy interest in death — with “grotesque” pictures on his phone of dead or dying people.
'INTEREST IN DEATH'
Louella was found dead in woods at the edge of the Bestival site at Lulworth Castle, Dorset, on the morning of her 25th birthday in September 2017.
Broughton was arrested and charged, and shocking clips were shown in court of him filming her while she overdosed.
At one point Broughton turned his iPhone on himself to show him smiling and playing with a fidget spinner toy.
Louella, who was filmed eating thorns, repeatedly shouted for him to call her mum.
When his parents were phoned they heard her distress and drove 130 miles from London to help. However their daughter was already dead when they arrived.
There was hostility between Broughton and Mr Michie at the court case.
Mr Michie said: “I think Louella loved Ceon. I’m not sure he loved her. I don’t know how you could ever say you loved someone if you left them to die in front of you.”
When they unexpectedly met outside the courtroom, Mr Michie told him: “You’re evil, evil.”
Broughton, who rapped under the name CEONRPG, flew into a rage, throwing a table across a room and attacking a water cooler.
Former Taggart star Mr Michie and his wife Carol had initially believed he was innocent.
He spent time at their £1.2million home in North London and had been a guest at Mr Michie’s 60th birthday dinner.
However they were horrified at the footage shot by him.
The court was told that, instead of phoning 999 for help, Broughton chose to stay in a secluded wooded area with Louella.
Broughton had previously admitted supplying drugs to her at Glastonbury a few months before.
He was also in breach of a suspended prison term for possessing knives a month earlier.
Prosecutors said that Broughton failed to take “reasonable” steps to seek medical help because he feared the consequences of his suspended sentence.
Long wait for help
TIMELINE of Ceon Broughton’s failure to help.
4pm: Broughton and Louella go into woods outside Bestival.
5.53pm: Broughton shoots a 50-minute vid of Louella tripping.
6.43pm: Another shows her slapping herself repeatedly.
6.47pm: Broughton rings her mum Carol who hears Louella screaming. The Michies set off.
7pm: Sam, Louella’s brother, texts Broughton: “Please take Louella to the medical tent.”
7.04pm: Broughton shoots another vid of Louella shouting.
7.07pm: Sam rings Broughton, who tells him he supplied 2C-P to her but “bumped it up a bit”.
7.38pm: Dad John texts Broughton: “Look after Louella”.
8.07pm: Broughton texts Sam to call him a “drama queen”.
8.18pm: Louella is filmed on her back making strange noises.
9.04pm: Pal Ezra texts “medics are coming to Ambient Forest” but it is the wrong location.
10.56pm: Broughton texts John: “I am going to make sure she gets right medical.”
11.06pm: Carol texts: “We are four minutes away.”
11.23pm: Broughton takes pic of Louella apparently dead.
Jurors at Winchester crown court found Broughton guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence.
However Broughton, of Enfield, North London, challenged the conviction in June.
At the High Court appeal hearing, Broughton’s barrister Stephen Kamlish QC argued it was unsafe.
He said prosecutors “failed to prove” Miss Fletcher-Michie would have survived had she received treatment by a certain point.
He argued: “The Crown cannot prove, now or at trial, that she would have lived had she been treated. The appellant was trying to get help.
“So he cannot be described as criminally grossly negligent.”
He said Broughton had felt unable to leave Louella alone while she was suffering a “bad trip”.
He had not realised she was at risk of death, he added. The barrister also argued that Broughton’s sentence was “excessive”.
Three judges today ruled that the conviction should be overturned.
Lord Burnett said the jury had to rely on just one expert’s evidence when deciding if Broughton’s actions contributed “significantly” to his girlfriend’s death.
Given that the criminal standard of proof requires jurors to be sure “beyond reasonable doubt”, Lord Burnett said the expert’s evidence was “not enough”.
He added: “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.
“The appeal against conviction for manslaughter must be allowed.”
The court ruled there should be no retrial for his manslaughter conviction, which accounted for seven years of his sentence.
It is believed Broughton may have been freed from prison as early tonight.
Jenny Hopkins, Head of Special Crime and Counter Terrorism at the CPS, said it was “considering the next steps”.
She said: “We respect the decision the Court of Appeal has made in the case of Ceon Broughton and are considering the next steps following today’s judgment.
“Our thoughts remain with the family of Ms Fletcher-Michie at this difficult time.”
It is thought the decision to quash Broughton’s conviction could be appealed and taken to the Supreme Court.
I can only imagine how her poor parents feel.
A man who answered the door at the home of Broughton’s father Dave tonight said “no comment”.
He also stuck his middle finger up before shutting the door of the property in Bromley, South East London. The judges’ decision was greeted with disbelief by nearby residents.
One local told The Sun: “This shouldn’t have been allowed to happen. I’ve got five grandchildren — I don’t want them living in the same area as someone like that.
“It’s shocking he’s been released. What he did was truly shocking. It was sickening.”
Another added: “I didn’t think he’d be allowed out for quite a while. It’s terrible.”
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said: “I can only imagine how her poor parents feel.
“It’s hard to excuse his callous and inhumane behaviour and the family will not see this as justice being done.”
After the hearing, Broughton’s lawyers said he remained “devastated” by Louella’s death.
In a statement, they said: “The Court of Appeal has today found that Louella’s death occurred not as a result of criminal negligence but was instead a tragic accident.
“Ceon remains devastated by her death. He has always wished he could have done more to save her.
“He loved Louella and she him, but he knows that no words will ever be sufficient to convey his sense of responsibility for what happened or to begin to remove the pain that others have been caused.”
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