They took him into their hearts… knowing nothing of his monstrous obsession with drugs, death and depravity: ANTONIA HOYLE on Bestival Killer Ceon Broughton
- Boyfriend of Louella Fletcher-Michie is convicted of killing her with party drugs
- The 24-year-old daughter of Holby City actor John Michie died at Bestival in 2017
- Louella not the first woman to fall victim to Ceon Broughton’s death obsession
- He was said to have obsession with images of death and corpses on phone
- He told Swedish student ex-girlfriend Paulina Aberg, he dreamt of murdering her
- Broughton filmed Paulina after she smashed her head against sink, knocking herself out after he gave her a ‘whole load of drugs’
A video of Holby City actor John Michie’s daughter laughing and joking with her rapper boyfriend, Ceon Broughton, hours before her death at Bestival
With long, blonde hair flowing from beneath a headscarf and shades shielding her eyes from the late summer sun, Louella Fletcher-Michie looked like any other young festival-goer eagerly anticipating the evening ahead.
Acclaimed pop and rap stars, the ‘world’s biggest bouncy castle’ and a cocktail bus were among the many attractions on offer at Bestival, being held for the first time at Lulworth Castle, on Dorset’s idyllic Jurassic Coast.
Illicit drugs, perhaps inevitably, were available too, if you knew who to ask.
But Louella’s parents — the actor John Michie, who plays neurosurgeon Guy Self in BBC hospital drama Holby City, and his partner, former Hot Gossip dancer Carol Fletcher — weren’t unduly concerned.
Their bubbly, but sensible, yoga-instructor daughter might have experimented on occasion, but she had what they described as a ‘cautious’ and ‘measured’ attitude towards illegal substances.
Besides, Louella was with her boyfriend, aspiring musician Ceon Broughton, whom John and Carol had welcomed into their family over the course of his 15-month on-off relationship with Louella.
Broughton had spent Christmas at the Michies’ £1.2 million home in North London, worked with Louella’s brother Sam and had been a guest at John’s 60th birthday dinner. There was no reason to believe he didn’t have their daughter’s best interests at heart.
And when the unthinkable happened, and Louella died after taking the newly available drug 2C-P at Bestival that evening in September 2017, John and Carol were quick to defend him, despite their grief and rumours that Broughton — who had a previous conviction for supplying drugs — may be implicated in her death.
A heartbroken John, 62, even issued a statement saying he believed there to be no ‘malice’ involved, adding it was ‘just a tragic accident’.
Actor John Michie with daughter Louella Fletcher-Michie, 24 (left), who died after taking party drug 2C-P
Ceon Broughton was convicted of the manslaughter of Louella Fletcher-Michie for failing to get her the vital medical help she needed after she took a class A drug he had supplied her at Bestival
How sickening his words must sound now; how utterly misplaced his trust in Broughton, 30, who was yesterday found guilty of manslaughter and supplying class A drugs.
For, as we can reveal here, Louella wasn’t the first woman to fall victim to Broughton’s odious obsession with drugs and death.
The court heard he was a sadistic drug-dealer who took ‘callous pleasure’ in giving women large doses of illegal substances before filming the humiliating results.
It was said he had a ‘morbid’ obsession with images of death, hoarding at least a dozen photographs of corpses and videos of people dying, including from knife violence, on his phone, it can be reported for the first time today.
He even told one ex-girlfriend, a Swedish student named Paulina Aberg, that he dreamt of pushing her off a roof and covering up the murder, lawyers said.
The court also heard how the 30-year-old took ‘sadistic pleasure’ in filming Paulina after she smashed her head against a sink, knocking herself out after he gave her a ‘whole load of drugs’.
Ceon Broughton (left), 30, had been on trial at Winchester Crown Court accused of being responsible for the death of his girlfriend Miss Fletcher-Michie (right)
In Louella’s case, Broughton had supplied her with six times the usual dose of 2C-P — one of a potent new breed of psychedelic stimulants that can cause acute psychosis.
When she’d reacted badly to it, he had spent six hours filming her distress, allegedly seeking a perverse pleasure in the sight of her hallucinating, crying for her mother and harming herself.
Although a hospital tent at the festival stood only 400m away, he dismissed Louella’s cries for help as those of a ‘drama queen’ and failed to get medical assistance that would almost certainly have saved her life.
Broughton — who it is thought even filmed Louella after she had died, an hour short of her 25th birthday, in woodland on the outskirts of the festival, where they remained alone — allegedly had another motive for not seeking help.
He had received a suspended sentence for two counts of carrying knives just a month earlier.
Calling the police or other authorities, he realised, would risk further investigation, prosecution and prison.
For John and Carol and their two older children, Sam and Daisy, who sat in court throughout Broughton’s three-week trial at Winchester Crown Court, the sense of betrayal following his conviction for manslaughter through gross negligence must be nothing short of earth-shattering.
Louella Fletcher-Michie, the 24-year-old daughter of actor John Michie, died after being given a fatal amount of 2-CP at Bestival. Her boyfriend, Ceon Broughton, was today convicted of manslaughter for supplying the drug and failing to help her when she collapsed
Miss Fletcher-Michie (second right) and Broughton (far right) at a family dinner with her actor father John, mother Carol, brother Sam, sister Daisy and her boyfriend Jamie Jamieson
Speaking outside the court yesterday, Mr Michie said: ‘Regardless of the outcome of this harrowing trial, there were never going to be any winners.
‘We began our life sentence on what would have been Louella’s 25th birthday. Ceon’s life sentence is knowing he didn’t help Louella to live.’
Their despair will not be lost on the family of Paulina, who escaped Broughton’s morbid obessions. Relatives in Sweden reacted to the news with quiet dignity. ‘It will bring comfort,’ one said.
Paulina’s father, music producer Ingemar Aberg, was more direct. Speaking exclusively to the Mail from Stockholm, he said: ‘I hope he rots in hell.’
Swedish Paulina Aberg (above) contacted the prosecutor by email and sent a letter to the court after Broughton’s trial started
So how did Broughton manage to hide his monstrous behaviour from Louella’s loving parents?
A Jekyll and Hyde character whose grandmother has described him as placid and ‘polite’, he appeared equally at ease in the Michies’ privileged celebrity world as he did among the drug-fuelled rap music industry.
Broughton’s father (the only member of his family who came to court) and mother separated when he was a child, his mother remarrying a property consultant, with whom she had two daughters, now in their early 20s.
The family moved from London to a semi-detached home in leafier Watford, where — although his mother later separated from her second husband — her son appeared to enjoy a loving upbringing.
Certainly, neighbours told the Mail they were a ‘nice’ family about whom they had not ‘a bad word to say’. As a teenager, however, Broughton discovered skateboarding, his new hobby eventually dragging him into an altogether murkier world.
By his 20s, he was a fully-fledged member of skateboarding gang Laigon Life, a group that also produced violent rap music and whose social media outpourings and YouTube videos celebrated street fights and debauchery. In one piece of footage, apparently from a festival, a youth sits among tents pretending to be a drug-dealer.
Another chillingly prescient moment shows a woman slumped half-unconscious on public transport, seemingly unaware she is being filmed.
Such publicly available clips, it emerged, were merely a drop in the ocean of Broughton’s compulsion to film potentially criminal activity.
Police discovered a wealth of more information on his iPhone, which Broughton’s lawyers successfully argued would prejudice a jury’s decision.
In other shock footage not shown to the jury, he is seen shoving a spoonful of white powder into a scantily-clad woman’s nose.
Broughton smashed up a table in the atrium of the court after being confronted by the family during a break in proceedings
The scene at Bestival where Miss Michie’s body was discovered by police on the edge of the festival site, which covers hundreds of acres close to the landmark Durdle Door
He brusquely tells the woman to do ‘more’. The unknown female responds: ‘More?’, and is apparently unsure, before he again shoves the spoon under her nose.
‘No, no, you have to do more,’ he says, before feeding her the rest of the dose, while he films it.
Another disturbing clip from his phone showed a woman in pink underwear dancing in front of a bathroom mirror, apparently under the influence and unaware she was being filmed by him.
The evidence was so damning, however, that Broughton’s lawyers managed to have it ruled out as overly prejudicial, as it was said it showed he took a ‘callous pleasure … in the pain of others’.
‘No justice,’ John Michie spat from the public gallery, after the judge announced his decision to exclude the devastating material.
Despite Broughton’s abhorrent behaviour, his profile grew. He began rapping under the artist name CEONRPG, working with renowned ‘grime’ (a genre of electronic dance music) stars such as Wiley and Mercury award-winner Skepta and amassing some 20,000 followers on Instagram.
He modelled for Chanel at London Fashion Week and in 2017 was pictured, among other artists, alongside London Mayor Sadiq Khan at the Mobo music awards.
Yet he continued to lead a parallel, despicable, life.
On social media, a picture emerged of Broughton and a fellow member of Laigon Life next to suspicious lines of white power, and he was accused of sexual assault, rape and emotional abuse.
He was one of 38 male ‘abusers in UK creative scenes’ whose names appeared in a post-Weinstein era online list, the creator of which is unknown.
In 2017, Broughton (left) released the song ‘Duracell’, which was produced by Skepta
This was, it should be stressed, an unverified list which played no part in Broughton’s trial — but were the allegations to become widespread and his dubious treatment of women better known, it is fair to assume his and Louella’s paths might never have crossed.
As it was, his burgeoning success would have been applauded by the Michies, who shun showbusiness airs and graces.
John, who found fame as Detective Inspector Robbie Ross in Nineties drama series Taggart before landing the role of Karl Munro in ITV soap Coronation Street in 2011, met dancer Carol on the set of an advert in the Eighties.
Broken TV star’s tragic statement after hearing jury’s verdicts
Actor John Michie said this afternoon his family’s ‘life sentence’ began when his daughter was heartlessly left to die in woodland by Ceon Broughton.
Reading from his phone outside court today, the 62-year-old said: ‘Regardless of the outcome of this trial, there was never going to be any winners.
‘We began our life sentence on what would have have Louella’s 25th birthday.. Ceon’s life sentence is knowing he did not help Louella to live.’
Louella’s film director brother Sam specialises in directing rap videos, and her sister Daisy is a dancer and stylist.
Home, John once declared proudly, is a ‘United Nations’ street in multicultural Holloway and family holidays are spent on the same Spanish campsite every year.
It is easy to see how Broughton might have fitted in, not least because Louella, who taught a dance-based form of yoga called Voga, had the same down-to-earth demeanour as her family. After she and Broughton became an item in June 2016, John and Carol, with whom Louella still lived, welcomed him into their home, as they did all her friends.
‘I loved that as I felt involved with her life,’ Carol told the court. ‘We welcomed Ceon, too.’
But Broughton — who was invited to John’s 60th birthday restaurant meal in October 2016 — ended their relationship ‘suddenly’ after spending Christmas with the family that December.
Louella, so enamoured by Broughton she decorated her bedroom with graffiti that read ‘Laigon Life’, was apparently ‘devastated’ by the unexplained split. By the summer of 2017, however, they were back together.
‘She loved Ceon more than anyone before,’ Carol told the court. Sadly, it seems doubtful the feeling was reciprocated. As her sister Daisy put it: ‘I think she loved Ceon but I don’t think he loved her.’
Recently reunited when they attended Bestival together, Louella and Broughton’s decision to head away from the music area into the wooded outskirts of the festival on September 10 was understandable, says Carol.
‘They liked trees and the outdoors. It was not a surprise that they went to the forest.’
Some two hours after taking 2C-P — which is typically smoked or snorted — at 6.48pm, Broughton called Louella’s family to tell them Louella was having what he described as a ‘bad trip’.
Broughton (right) was born in 1989 and lived in in a small terraced house in Wembley Park
Broughton is pictured (bottom right) with London Mayor Sadiq Khan at the 2017 Mobo awards
After Carol heard her daughter crying in the background, she and John — who both urged Broughton to seek medical help — embarked on a frantic 130-mile drive from London to Dorset to rescue their daughter.
Meanwhile, Broughton continued his cruel and relentless recording of Louella — one video he made is 51 minutes long — as she became increasingly disorientated, rubbing herself with brambles and cutting her face and hands.
Her garbled cries were interspersed with heart-breaking moments of lucidity — at one stage she shouted: ‘Dad, I love you.’
Broughton appeared impervious to her distress, a note he recorded on his phone even appearing to romanticise her ordeal, the court heard, ‘referring to her laying beneath with him, nettles and thorns, a reference to bleeding where the heart was torn’. If there was a nagging voice telling him to seek help, he silenced it, texting a friend to explain he couldn’t get ‘bagged’ (slang for arrested).
Grime rapper was convicted of having a KNIFE in public but spared jail just weeks before Bestival
The drug dealer convicted of killing Louella Fletcher-Michie had avoided a jail term for possessing a knife just a month before, it can be revealed today.
It can be reported for the first time today that Broughton had avoided being jailed for possession of a bladed article in public.
He was given a 24-week sentence suspended for a year at Thames magistrates’ court in August 2017, just a month before he and Louella attended the music festival where she died.
Prosecutors said Broughton did not get help for Louella because he was on the suspended jail term and feared the consequences.
At 11.24pm, a picture he took appears to show Louella’s lifeless body at his feet.
According to Prosecutor William Mousley QC, his decision not to seek help was ‘born out of selfishness and self-preservation’ and by the time John and Carol arrived at the festival, it was too late.
Shortly after Louella’s death was announced, rumours of Broughton’s involvement swirled and he was arrested on suspicion of her murder. But police found no evidence Louella had been assaulted and he was released under investigation.
An inquest revealed Louella had died of an overdose. Like Broughton, she also had the drugs ketamine and MDMA in her system, which caused a long period of agitation, eventually fatally blocking her airways.
Broughton — who had already pleaded guilty to supplying 2C-P to Louella and her friend at Glastonbury Festival three months before she died — was charged with manslaughter and supplying her with a second dose of 2C-P last February.
Granted unconditional police bail, he was allowed to live in his privately rented waterside terrace home in a converted Victorian arms factory in Enfield, North London, as he awaited trial. He even released another single.
But any hopes he could resume his burgeoning music career have been lost with his conviction, along with the selfless support he enjoyed from Louella’s family.
Having decided not to give evidence, thus denying her loved ones the opportunity to understand the precise circumstances surrounding her death, Broughton was called evil by a distraught John Michie when he passed the man in the court atrium.
Broughton smashed a table and destroyed a water-cooler in retaliation, before being restrained by police.
As he awaits the terms of his sentence, to be decided today, he will have plenty of time to reflect on the horrific manner in which he let down the woman who loved him.
As, too, will John Michie, whose assessment of his initial support for Broughton was summarised with tragic understatement to the jurors: ‘Clearly, I made a mistake.’
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