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Rapper convicted of manslaughter of actor’s daughter awaits appeal ruling

Louella Fletcher-Michie, daughter of Holby City actor John Michie, died after taking the drug 2-CP during the Bestival music festival in 2017.

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Ceon Broughton was handed an eight-and-a-half-year sentence, in March 2019, following a trial at Winchester Crown Court (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Ceon Broughton was handed an eight-and-a-half-year sentence, in March 2019, following a trial at Winchester Crown Court (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Ceon Broughton was handed an eight-and-a-half-year sentence, in March 2019, following a trial at Winchester Crown Court (Andrew Matthews/PA)

A rapper jailed for the manslaughter of the daughter of a Holby City actor is waiting to hear whether he has won an appeal.

Louella Fletcher-Michie, daughter of actor John Michie, died after taking the hallucinogenic drug 2-CP during the Bestival music festival, at Lulworth Castle, Dorset, in September 2017.

She was found dead in the early hours of September 11, the day on which she should have celebrated her 25th birthday, in a wooded area on the edge of the festival site.

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Family handout photo of Louella Fletcher-Michie (Zoe Barling/PA)

Family handout photo of Louella Fletcher-Michie (Zoe Barling/PA)

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Family handout photo of Louella Fletcher-Michie (Zoe Barling/PA)

Her boyfriend, Ceon Broughton, 31, of Enfield, north London, was handed an eight-and-a-half-year sentence, in March 2019, following a trial at Winchester Crown Court.

Three appeal judges considered the case at a virtual Court of Appeal hearing on Wednesday.

The three judges, Lord Burnett, the Lord Chief Justice and most senior judge in England and Wales, Mr Justice Sweeney and Mr Justice Murray, said they would announce their decision at a later date.

Lawyers representing Broughton argued that he had been wrongly convicted and said that, in any event, the sentence was excessive.

Prosecutors said the appeal should be dismissed.

Jurors had found Broughton guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence.

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Ceon Broughton watched the hearing via videolink from prison (Handout/Dorset Police/PA)

Ceon Broughton watched the hearing via videolink from prison (Handout/Dorset Police/PA)

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Ceon Broughton watched the hearing via videolink from prison (Handout/Dorset Police/PA)

Broughton was also found guilty of supplying Miss Fletcher-Michie with 2-CP, at the festival.

He had previously admitted supplying drugs to Miss Fletcher-Michie at the Glastonbury festival, in June 2017, and was in breach of a suspended prison sentence imposed for possessing a lock knife and a Stanley knife blade.

Prosecutors had told jurors that Broughton failed to take “reasonable” steps to seek medical help for Miss Fletcher-Michie.

They said Broughton did not get help because he had been handed a suspended jail term a month earlier and feared the consequences.

But Stephen Kamlish QC, who led Broughton’s defence team, questioned, at the appeal hearing, whether jurors could have been sure that Miss Fletcher-Michie would have lived if she had received appropriate treatment.

He told appeal judges that Miss Fletcher-Michie might have taken an “overdose” which “from the outset” was “not repairable, not survivable”.

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Actor John Michie outside Winchester Crown Court (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Actor John Michie outside Winchester Crown Court (Andrew Matthews/PA)

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Actor John Michie outside Winchester Crown Court (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Mr Kamlish said jurors had to be sure that any “breach of duty” by Broughton was a “substantial” cause of death.

“Could the jury be sure the deceased would not have died anyway?” Mr Kamlish asked.

“Evidentially there are a number of unknowns.”

He said prosecutors had “failed to prove causation” and added: “The Crown has failed to prove, cannot prove, beyond reasonable doubt that Louella would have survived had she received treatment by a certain point.”

Mr Kamlish said Broughton had made attempts to get help and bore Miss Fletcher-Michie no ill will.

Prosecutors said there was “a case for causation”.

Lord Burnett said the judges wanted to extend their sympathies to members of Miss Fletcher-Michie’s family, who listened to the hearing online.

Broughton watched the hearing via videolink from prison.

PA