A rapper who was jailed for manslaughter after giving his girlfriend drugs at a festival and filming her has had his conviction overturned.
Ceon Broughton, 31, supplied Louella Fletcher-Michie with the rare hallucinogenic intoxicant 2-CP at Bestival festival, Dorset in September 2017.
She took a strengthened form of the Class A substance while Broughton recorded footage of her on his mobile phone for six hours.
The daughter of Holby City star John Mitchie was discovered dead in woods at the edge of the festival on the morning of her 25th birthday, September 11.
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 after Broughton’s barrister argued prosecutors had ‘failed to prove’ whether Louella would have survived if she had received treatment.
He said: ‘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.
‘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% 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respectful disagreement with the judge, we conclude that the appellant’s main argument, that the case should have been withdrawn from the jury, is established.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 appeal was heard before the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Mr Justice Sweeney and Mr Justice Murray.
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.
Stephen Kamlish QC, for Broughton, 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, Louella says: ‘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 at Lulworth Castle, Dorset, after making contact with Broughton and hearing her daughter in the background.
Broughton, from Enfield in London, denied manslaughter but was convicted by the jury, and also convicted of supplying Class A drugs.
His conviction for manslaughter was quashed, but he did not appeal his conviction for supplying the drugs.
Previously he admitted two charges of supplying drugs at Glastonbury in June 2017.
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