The daughter of a British actor was left to die from a drugs overdose by her rapper boyfriend who didn’t seek help ‘because he didn’t want to be arrested’, a court heard on Wednesday.
Former Coronation Street star John Michie, 62, and his wife Carol Fletcher, made a 130-mile dash to musical festival Bestival as their daughter Louella Fletcher-Michie was dying after taking party drug 2C-P.
A court today heard Louella’s ex-boyfriend, Ceon Broughton, gave her a ‘bumped up’ dose of the class A substance and ‘failed to act’ for six hours despite her needing urgent medical care.
Instead Broughton, 29, stayed in a secluded wooded area with Louella as her condition severely worsened and made a series of video recordings of her on his mobile phone.
Her brother, Sam, contacted Broughton urging him to seek medical help. But Broughton sent Sam a message which said ‘call back in an hour’ and referred to Louella as a ‘drama queen’, the court heard.
Broughton, who has recorded with top rap artists Skepta and Wiley, even filmed Louella after she died – an hour before her 25th birthday.
Jurors were today shown 15 minutes of the shocking footage, in a series of clips. At one point he recorded non-stop for 51 minutes of the evening.
Louella could be seen shouting loudly, repeating incoherent sentences and even hitting herself.
The hospital area of Bestival in Lulworth Castle, Dorset, was just 400 metres from the wooded spot where Louella died.
Prosecutor William Mousley QC said Broughton had been given a suspended sentence a month before the incident on September 10, 2017, and didn’t seek help as he ‘didn’t want to be arrested’.
Mousley QC said Broughton ‘put his own liberty before her life’ and said his ‘failure to get her treatment was borne out of selfishness and self-preservation’.
He also revealed medical experts believe Louella would have had a 90 per cent chance of survival if she had been given treatment.
Jurors were shown videos of dancer Louella visibly distressed from the effects of 2C-P and heard Broughton had texted a friend saying ‘I can’t get bagged’ in reference to being arrested.
He also ignored messages from Mr Michie and Louella’s brother urging him to get help after he had spoken to Mrs Fletcher-Michie on the phone and she realised her daughter was unwell.
Her mother had heard Louella ‘screeching’ in the background and said ‘she sounds crazy’ following the call with Broughton, who later described Louella as a ‘drama queen’ in a text.
It is understood Louella was the first known death from 2C-P.
Broughton denies manslaughter and supplying Louella with a class A drug.
Mr Mousley QC, opening the trial at Winchester Crown Court, Hampshire, today, said: ‘Less than an hour before her 25th birthday she died having taken a large dose, later described as an overdose by the defendant, from class A drug 2C-P, which he gave her.
‘This led her to go through a terrible period of suffering in the woods by the festival, all while Broughton observed.
‘The drug he took did not have the same effect on him. It is not clear if she knew the strength of it or that it may well have been a cocktail of drugs but it was reckless from Broughton.
‘Worse still, he as her boyfriend was alone with her when they had the bad effects.
‘He had a responsibility to get her treatment which any reasonable and prudent person would have done.
‘While he did communicate that he did have concerns through his phone he failed to take personal responsibility for a period of six hours.
‘His failure to get her treatment, which alone would have saved her life, was borne out of selfishness and self-preservation.
‘He knew it would expose him to an arrest and criminal prosecution and that was at a time when he was subject of a suspended sentence, imposed just a month before.
‘The choice to put his own liberty before the life of a friend is a shocking indictment.’
The court heard the couple’s relationship broke down at the start of 2017 but they remained friends and Broughton supplied her and a friend 2C-P at Glastonbury festival in 2017.
In August 2017 Broughton was given a 24-week prison sentence suspended for a year. The jury was not told what offence he had committed.
Mr Mousley QC said: ‘Broughton knew that committing another offence would land him with 24 weeks, or possibly more, in jail.’
Describing the evening’s events, he told jurors: ‘He filmed her when she was disturbed and seriously ill over a period of hours and even did so after she was dead.
‘It was only after her death that he finally left to speak to someone. They were 400 metres from the hospital on the site.
‘Throughout this period Louella does not appear to use her mobile and that’s because of the shocking state she was in.’
Mr Mousley QC said: ‘In the end Carol was so concerned she told her husband and they dropped everything to travel there from north London.’
Louella died around an hour before Mr Michie and his wife arrived at Bestival. By this time Broughton had left the wooded area.
Mr Michie handed his phone to organisers as it marked the GPS location of Broughton from an earlier message in their search to find Louella.
In a police interview, Broughton said he ‘didn’t understand the gravity of the situation’ and didn’t think it was ‘life or death’.
A toxicology report revealed Louella had 2C-P, ketamine and MDMA in her system.
Mr Mousley QC said Louella was a ‘fit and healthy’ dancer who worked abroad, rarely drank alcohol and enjoyed taking drugs recreationally at parties and festivals but was ‘always safe’.
Broughton, from Enfield, London, has already admitted two counts of supplying class A drugs in relation to giving Louella and her friend 2C-P at Glastonbury.
Mr Michie has now returned to Holby.
The trial continues.