Following the tragic death of Luella Fletcher-Michie at Bestival Festival in 2017, her partner, Ceon Broughton was convicted of the offence of Gross Negligence Manslaughter by a jury in the Crown Court.
During an appeal in August 2020, the Court of Appeal quashed the conviction and in its Judgment the court re-examined the test for Gross Negligence Manslaughter and set out six elements that must be proven beyond reasonable doubt (i.e. the criminal standard of proof) for a prosecution to succeed.
Helen Holder of Kangs Solicitors, sets out the circumstances of the case.
Kangs Solicitors is extremely experienced at defending clients charged with Gross Negligence Manslaughter. Kangs Solicitors is a top ranked firm recognised by both of the leading law directories, Chambers & Partner and the Legal 500 for criminal defence work on behalf of clients facing prosecutions for every kind of criminal offence including serious, violent and complex financial crime offences.
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The Tragic Circumstances | Kangs Criminal Manslaughter Solicitors
- At the Bestival festival in 2017, Ceon supplied Louella with 2-CP, a hallucinogenic drug.
- The couple entered into the woods at approximately 4pm after which Ceon recorded Louella on his mobile phone as her health deteriorated over a few hours.
- Ceon is reported as having sought help prior to 9pm.
- A photograph taken at 11.25pm indicates that Louella had died by that time and she was declared dead at 01.10am.
Court Hearing | Kangs Manslaughter Defence Solicitors
- Whilst the Prosecution argued that Louella could have lived had Ceon sought earlier medical assistance, medical evidence was to the effect that by 8.18pm she was seriously unwell and in need of urgent medical care.
- It was further stated that, on the balance of probability, she would have stood a 90% chance of survival had she received medical intervention at 9.10pm.
- The Prosecution was unable to prove that even with appropriate medical treatment, Louella would have definitely survived.
The Court Of Appeal Judgement | Kangs Criminal Defence Team
- The Court of Appeal stated:
“there needs to be a clear focus on when the condition of the deceased reached the threshold of serious and obvious risk of death, what the accused should have done then and the prospects of survival at that point”
- As the Prosecution was unable to prove when that time arose, the Court of Appeal quashed the conviction.
- In the Judgment, the Court of Appeal set out the six elements that the Prosecution must prove to obtain a conviction for Gross Negligence Manslaughter:
- the defendant owed an existing duty of care to the victim,
- the defendant negligently breached that duty,
- at the time of the breach there was a serious and obvious risk of death,
- it was reasonably foreseeable at the time of the breach that the breach gave rise to a serious and obvious risk of death,
- the breach of duty caused or made a significant contribution to the death,
- in the view of the jury the circumstances of the breach were truly exceptionally bad and so reprehensible as amount to gross negligence.
How Can We Help You? | Kangs National Criminal Defence Solicitors
Please feel free to contact our team through any of the solicitors named below who will be happy to provide you with some initial advice and an informal chat about any of the issues in this article which may be of interest to you.