Trial Hears How Man Filmed Drug Overdose Death
6 February 2019, 09:12 | Updated: 6 February 2019, 09:14
The daughter of Holby City actor John Michie was filmed by her boyfriend as she overdosed on drugs at a music festival, a court has heard.
Louella Fletcher-Michie, 24, was given the drugs by her on-off boyfriend Ceon Broughton, 29, and died as her parents rushed to help her, it is alleged.
She took the class A party drug 2-CP at Bestival in Dorset on September 10 2017 and died in woodland an hour before her 25th birthday.
Her parents rushed to the site after telephoning Broughton as Ms Fletcher-Michie overdosed and hearing her "screeching", Winchester Crown Court heard.
However, Broughton insisted she was fine and referred to Ms Fletcher-Michie as a "drama queen", jurors heard.
Broughton, of Enfield, north London, denies manslaughter and supplying Ms Fletcher-Michie the drug.
Prosecutor William Mousley QC said Broughton did not get help because he was handed a suspended jail term one month earlier and feared the consequences.
He said: "She died as a result of having taken a large dose of, later described by the defendant as an overdose, of a class A drug known colloquially as 2-CP, which he had given her at a music festival."
Mr Mousley added: "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 heard Broughton filmed Ms Fletcher-Michie, 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 Fletcher-Michie, but he tells her to "put your phone away".
Carol Fletcher-Michie eventually contacted Broughton at 6.48pm and heard her daughter "screeching".
Mr Mousley said: "She told her husband that they needed to get to her and they dropped everything to travel from north London to Dorset."
Her brother Sam also contacted Broughton and urged him to seek medical help.
But Broughton sent Sam a message which said "call back in an hour" and referred to Ms Fletcher-Michie as a "drama queen", the jury heard.
Jurors were told Sam had also been given 2-CP by Broughton previously.
When Sam then asked if Ms Fletcher-Michie had taken 2-CP, Broughton told him: "Yeah, but I bumped it up a bit."
Mr Mousley said Sam thought that meant "either a larger dose or a combination of it with other drugs".
Broughton has also previously admitted supplying the drug to Ms Fletcher-Michie and her friend at Glastonbury Festival in June 2017, the jury heard.
After Mr Michie arrived at the festival site at Lulworth Castle, he messaged Broughton asking if he had sought medical help, Mr Mousley said.
Carol Fletcher-Michie also sent a message which said: "Please message me that Louella is okay."
Mr Mousley added: "In addition, during that extended period of time when they were together, he filmed her on a number of occasions.
"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."
A month before the incident, Broughton was handed a 24-week prison sentence suspended for one year, jurors heard.
Mr Mousley said: "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."
Ms Fletcher-Michie was found dead by a security steward in the woodland, 400m from the festival's hospital tent, at around 1am.
A post-mortem examination found "2-CP toxicity" and traces of ketamine and MDMA.
Mr Mousley said a medical expert, Professor Charles Deakin, estimated a "90%" chance of survival with early intervention.
Jurors were told Ms Fletcher-Michie occasionally used party drugs, including 2-CP and MDMA, and tried to take pills into Bestival which were confiscated by security.
She told Broughton, who had travelled to the event separately, and he replied "that he would bring some", the jury heard.
Stephen Kamlish QC, defending, said Broughton and Ms 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 (2-CP) or taking an overdose."
Ms Fletcher-Michie had acquired the 2-CP herself, he said, adding: "This is not gross negligence manslaughter."
The trial continues.