British-born Grime Rapper Ceon Broughton had his manslaughter conviction overturned by the High Court on Tuesday, as the court found his providing a lethal dose of a hallucinogenic drug to his former girlfriend and his failure to seek medical attention because he was on a suspended jail sentence at the time was not sufficient grounds for his conviction.
Broughton, 31, who raps under the stage-name CEONRPG, was convicted last year for the manslaughter Louella Fletcher-Michie, who died after he gave her a hallucinogenic drug 2CP at a music festival in Dorset. The court heard that Broughton had encouraged his then-girlfriend to take increased doses of the drug, which ultimately led to her death.
Louella Fletcher-Michie, the daughter of Holby City actor John Michie, was found dead in the early hours of September 11th 2017, the date of her 25th birthday. During the initial trial, the court heart that Broughton filmed her as she died, according to Sky News.
The rapper was convicted in March of 2019 and was sentenced to eight years and six months in prison for manslaughter by gross negligence and jailed for eight years and six months.
Broughton’s manslaughter conviction was overturned by the High Court this week, as the court could not determine if his failure to bring her to a hospital resulted in her death.
The presiding judge in the case, Lord Burnett of Maldon quashed the conviction, said per The Times: “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.”
“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,” he added.
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Broughton’s lawyer in the appeal, Stephen Kamlish, QC, argued that he did not seek medical attention for Louella Fletcher-Michie because he had a suspended jail term. The lawyer went on to claim that the rapper believed that his former girlfriend was just suffering from a “bad trip”.
“The Crown cannot prove, now or at trial, that she would have lived had she been treated,” Kamlish said.
“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 lawyer argued.
“The appellant was trying to get help. So he cannot be described as criminally grossly negligent,” he concluded.
Ms Fletcher-Michie’s father, John Michie, said in a victim impact statement: “I wake up every morning to face life starting again without Louella, our daughter, our sister, our friend, our family now broken. And for what? It makes no sense — our beautiful Louella should still be with us on any measure of humanity.”
“No more yoga with my daughter, no more running around the outside of the Arsenal stadium with my daughter. Her life cruelly cut short. Our lives forever diminished. She was wise beyond her years and trusting, too trusting it seems,” Michie said mournfully.
Broughton’s conviction for supplying the victim with the deadly drug will still stand.
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