Ceon Broughton, 29, (arriving at Winchester Crown Court yesterday), is standing trial over the death of Louella Fletcher-Michie
Festival staff looking for the daughter of Holby City actor John Michie as she overdosed on party drug 2C-P searched the wrong forest after an ‘unfortunate’ mix-up in communication, a court heard today.
Louella Fletcher-Michie’s family desperately tried to pinpoint her exact location and urged Bestival organisers to deploy a search team as she became increasingly ill in a wooded area by the site.
It was wrongly assumed she was in the site’s ‘Ambient Forest’ following some confusion over her location, and a search around 7.30pm was unsuccessful.
Instead, Louella was in a forest just outside the site in Lulworth Castle, Dorset.
Less than four hours later, she was dead.
It also emerged today how, later in the evening Ceon Broughton, the rapper charged with Louella’s manslaughter, emerged from a wooded area and asked a security worker for a ‘torch’ so he could ‘look for his girlfriend who had overdosed’.
Security worker Wayne Harrington and a colleague ‘broke the rules’ by leaving their post to help Broughton look for Louella, Winchester Crown Court heard today.
But grime artist Broughton sent a text to a friend which is understood to have referred to workers, saying ‘these p*****s don’t give a f***’.
Broughton, from Enfield, London, denies manslaughter and supplying a class A drug.
Another Bestival worker today told jurors Mr Michie’s wife, former dancer Carol Fletcher, sounded ‘terrified’ when she phoned organisers to tell them her daughter was seriously unwell.
Holby City, Taggart and Coronation Street star John Michie with his late daughter Louella
Louella’s father John Michie told the court yesterday: ‘I think Louella loved Ceon, but I’m not sure he loved her. I don’t know how you can say love someone who you left to die in front of you’
Louella and Ceon (bottom right together) at a family dinner with, clockwise from left: Her actor father John, his wife Carol, brother Sam, sister Daisy and her boyfriend Jamie Jamieson
Louella’s family and friend Ezra Campbell, who was at Bestival on September 10, 2017, tried to pinpoint her whereabouts as she overdosed.
The court heard Broughton messaged Mr Campbell saying ‘forest’ which was relayed to the family, who then phoned organisers to urge them to look for her.
Bestival’s ‘happiness manager’ Olivia Moedt, who deals with customer support, took 68-year-old Mrs Fletcher’s phone call.
Ms Moedt told Winchester Crown Court today: ‘She sounded terrified on the phone.
Louella could be seen shouting loudly, repeating incoherent sentences and even hitting herself in a series of clips
‘On the day we had about 10 phone calls from parents worried if their kids were OK as the arena was shut for bad weather, but when I spoke to Carol she was really worried and I became worried too.
‘I asked if she had any idea where they might be and she said ‘the forest’. As there was one only one forest on the site it was thought it was the Ambient Forest.
‘I told her we would get people to look for her and a colleague went.
‘Carol asked me if she should come down and she was really worried so I said ‘yes’. I gave her my mobile too so I could help.’
Worker Gemma Thorogood helped coordinate the search.
She said: ‘My colleagues did a thorough search around the perimeter and inside and nobody of that description was found.’
Defence barrister Stephen Kamlish QC asked whether it was ‘unfortunate communication’ and Ms Thorogood said: ‘Yes it was, I never thought it was outside the perimeter of the event, we don’t have access out there.’
Louella’s father John Michie is pictured leaving court with his wife Carol Fletcher yesterday
Mr Michie, who has starred in Coronation Street, Taggart and Holby City, today gave evidence at Winchester Crown Court. He is pictured here with his daughter Louella on the beach in Spain ‘after yet another ankle sprain’, in August 2017, just days before she died
Mr Michie posted this picture of himself with Louella as a baby on social media one month after she died
Mr Michie posted this picture on Instagram on the one-year anniversary of his daughter’s death. He captioned it: ‘You came to us on this day and left us on this day. The most loving, most inclusive , least judgmental, kindest…. your energy will never die and neither will our love for you’
Mr Michie said his daughter Louella loved Broughton (pictured together) – but it cannot have been reciprocated as he left her to die
‘Head of happiness’ Liam Mayet said: ‘When I found out the next morning I was shocked and upset. I feel bad for the parents and wonder if there was anything more we could have done.’
The prosecution say that Broughton stayed with Louella until after she had died but then emerged from woodland on his own at around 11.30pm.
Security worker Mr Harrington told the court that he saw Broughton come out of the trees and he then asked if he had a torch.
Mr Harrington said: ‘I was with a colleague Ryan on a smoking break. He saw a man coming out of the woods. ‘The man asked for a torch so he could look for his girlfriend as she had taken an overdose, he said she was in the woods somewhere.
Louella Fletcher-Michie was found dead after taking party drug 2CP at the Bestival site
‘I couldn’t give him a torch but offered my services to help him look for her.’
Mr Harrington said Broughton was ‘on his phone lots’ and was using the app Find My iPhone. A text sent from Broughton’s phone at 11.45pm to Mrs Fletcher read ‘these p****s don’t give a f***’.
Mr Harrington added: ‘When you are working you are not supposed to leave your position, it’s breaking the rules.’
Meanwhile, friend Ezra Campbell told today’s hearing Louella got confiscated drugs back by ‘sweet talking’ staff.
He said: ‘She told me on the night she came down she got frisked by security, they took them from her but she managed to get them back.’
Stephen Kamlish QC, defending Broughton, said: ‘By sweet talking someone?’ Mr Campbell agreed and added: ‘As it was her birthday that weekend she planned on taking drugs.’
Former Coronation Street star Mr Michie, 62, and his family today returned to Winchester Crown Court, Hants, and watched the trial from the public gallery.
Mrs Fletcher, who wept as she gave evidence yesterday, left the court before footage of Louella smiling and enjoying the festival in a tent was played.
In the short clip which jurors have not seen before today, shot by Mr Campbell on his phone, the tragic 24-year-old shows off her many festival bands, shouts ‘whee!’ happily and is described as ‘festival fairy Louella’.
Another short clip was shown to jurors, taken from Louella’s phone just under 24 hours before her death.
Giving evidence earlier in the trial, Miss Fletcher-Michie’s father accused Broughton of not taking her to get help while she was in a ‘distressed state’.
‘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,’ Mr Michie told jurors.
The court has heard Louella’s ex-boyfriend, Ceon Broughton, pictured with Louella above, gave her a ‘bumped up’ dose of the class A substance and ‘failed to act’ for six hours
The on-off couple, pictured here in 2016. The court has heard Broughton gave Louella a ‘bumped up’ dose of 2C-P and even filmed her after she died
Louella’s sister Daisy Fletcher-Michie and her brother Sam Fletcher-Michie also told the court how they had ‘begged’ Broughton on the phone to take Louella to a medical tent. Pictured from left: Daisy, Louella, Sam and their mother Carol
Mr Michie said he desperately pleaded with security staff to let him into the site to help his dying daughter and even offered them his phone which contained a pinpoint GPS location of the couple
Mr Michie posted this picture in April 2014 with the caption, ‘Marathon training with my daughter’
She and Broughton appear happy as they are walking together and speak about ‘hallucinating’ and ‘getting weird’.
Louella, in reference to Broughton, says ‘this little boy has been reaching for things that aren’t there… hallucinating’ and says Broughton had been losing possessions.
She asks what Broughton has been doing and he replies ‘just been getting really weird’.
What is the 2C-P drug?
Hallucinogenic drug 2C-P has been described as having a similar effect as LSD, also known as acid.
Users are likely to experience a distorted view of reality and objects and will see and hear things that are not really there.
2C-P is in the 2C family of drugs and because it is a stimulant, it can make users feel alert and awake. The drugs, which can be smoked or snorted, also affect emotions.
At high doses, people can feel confused, agitated and in some cases propelled into a delirious state. The charity added that the drugs may cause panic attacks and in some cases ‘acute psychosis’.
Broughton adds ‘I will be a good boy tomorrow’. Louella seems excited about her upcoming birthday, saying: ‘Lulu’s birthday tomorrow.’
The court has heard Mr Michie and his wife ditched their Sunday dinner to make a desperate 130-mile dash to Bestival after hearing Louella ‘screech’ down the phone.
Broughton, who has recorded with top rap artists Skepta and Wiley, filmed Louella tripping on 2C-P and continued to do so as her condition worsened – even filming her after she died.
The on-site hospital was a mere 400 metres away yet the court has heard Broughton didn’t seek help in the six hours he spent with Louella in the woods.
Prosecutor William Mousley QC said Broughton could have saved her if he sought medical help but did’t as he ‘didn’t want to be arrested’ as he was serving a suspended sentence and would likely be jailed.
Jurors have also been shown shocking footage of Louella hallucinating and repeatedly shouting ‘Mum’ as well as ‘Dad I love you’ before she begins to start slapping herself on the legs.
One later audio clip shows Broughton laughing at Louella before she appears to start eating thorns.
iPhone images taken by Broughton at 11.25pm show lifeless Louella on her back with bloodied hands.
The trial continues on Monday.
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