Louella Fletcher-Michie was given drug 2C-P by boyfriend at Bestival in Dorset, his trial told
The daughter of the Holby City actor John Michie died after taking drugs given to her by her boyfriend at a music festival as he filmed her last moments, a court has heard.
Louella Fletcher-Michie’s boyfriend, Ceon Broughton, 29, gave her the class A party drug 2C-P at Bestival, in Dorset, in September last year, it is alleged, causing her to die an hour before her 25th birthday.
Her parents rushed to the site after telephoning Broughton as Fletcher-Michie overdosed and hearing her “screeching”, Winchester crown court was told.
Broughton, of Enfield, north London, denies manslaughter and supplying Fletcher-Michie the drug.
William Mousley QC, prosecuting, said Broughton failed to get help because he had been given a suspended jail term one month earlier and feared the consequences.
“She died as a result of having taken a large dose – later described by the defendant as an overdose – of a class A drug known colloquially as 2C-P, which he had given her at a music festival,” he said. “It had a terrible effect upon her, leading to her death after a significant period of suffering in woods close to the festival site, all of which he must have observed.”
Jurors were told Broughton filmed Louella, a dancer and yoga teacher, as her condition deteriorated. In clips shown to the court, she repeatedly shouts at Broughton to telephone her mother, Carol, but he tells her to “put your phone away”.
Mousley said: “He filmed her when she was disturbed, agitated, and then seriously ill over a period of hours. He even did so, the prosecution suggest, after she was apparently dead.”
Fletcher-Michie’s mother eventually spoke to her at 6.48pm and grew concerned after she “could hear her screeching”.
The couple dropped everything to travel from north London to Dorset. Fletcher-Michie’s brother Sam also contacted Broughton and urged him to seek medical help. But Broughton sent him a message which said “call back in an hour” and referred to his girlfriend as a “drama queen”, the jury heard.
Jurors were told Sam also knew Broughton and had been given 2C-P by him previously. He asked Broughton if his sister had taken 2C-P, and Broughton replied: “Yeah, but I bumped it up a bit.”
Mousley said Fletcher-Michie’s brother interpreted that to mean that Broughton had given her “either a larger dose or a combination of it with other drugs”.
A postmortem examination found “2C-P toxicity” and traces of ketamine and MDMA, the court heard.
Mousley said Prof Charles Deakin, a medical expert, “didn’t believe that Louella’s death was inevitable if she had received medical help”. Deakin found there was a 90% chance of survival with early intervention.
Mousley said that a month before the incident, Broughton was given a 24-week prison sentence suspended for one year. “His failure to get her treatment which may well have saved her life was borne of selfishness and in self-preservation.
“Because to have done otherwise, to have acted positively, he knew would have exposed him to the possibility of arrest and prosecution for a criminal offence punishable with imprisonment.”
The court was told that Fletcher-Michie occasionally used “party drugs”, including 2C-P and MDMA, and had tried to take pills into Bestival but had them confiscated by security on arrival.
She told Broughton, who travelled to the event separately, about the confiscation and he replied “that he would bring some”, jurors heard.
Defending Broughton, Stephen Kamlish QC said his client and and Fletcher-Michie “were in love with each other” and “soulmates”.
He said: “You will hear from experts that no one has ever been known to die from taking this drug [2C-P] or taking an overdose.”
Kamlish claimed that Fletcher-Michie had acquired the 2C-P herself, adding: “This is not gross negligence manslaughter.”
The trial continues.