Actor John Michie was reduced to tears as he spoke about his daughter Louella in court. The Holby City star was giving evidence at the trial of Louella's boyfriend, Ceon Broughton, who is accused of manslaughter and supplying his girlfriend with party drug 2CP at Bestival in 2017. John told jurors that Ceon, of Enfield, north London, could not have possibly loved his daughter, as he left her to die from an overdose.
"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," the actor told Winchester Crown Court. He recalled how he and his wife Carol were eating Sunday dinner at home in London when they received a phone call from Ceon, in which they could hear their daughter shouting in the background.
John Michie's daughter Louella died at Bestival in September 2017
"Louella seemed very distressed," John said. "I could hear her in the background shouting things like 'I hate you, I don't trust you,' obviously referring to Ceon. I've never heard her speak in that way. It almost didn't sound like her." The TV star added that Ceon "didn't seem to be concerned" and that his voice sounded "watery" on loudspeaker. "Obviously any normal person would be concerned," said John.
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Ceon Broughton is accused of manslaughter and supplying drugs
At the time of Louella's death, the actor, 62, issued a statement supporting his daughter's boyfriend, saying it was a "tragic mistake", but he has since changed his outlook. "I believed him to be a good person at the time. Clearly, I made a mistake," said John. "I didn't realise how in the six hours he was with her, he had not taken her to get help, how he had seen her very, very distressed state. I believe he even filmed her after she was dead." The court was shown a video of Louella shouting at Ceon to "film me", "call my mum" and "call my brother, call my sister".
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Louella's brother Sam and sister Daisy gave evidence in court
Louella's sister Daisy and her brother Sam also told the court how they had "begged" Ceon to take Louella to the festival's medical tent. "I couldn't get any sense of urgency," Daisy told jurors. "He didn't say much at all, just like a really slow, 'yeah, yeah, ok.'"
Louella, who taught voga, a combination of dance and yoga, was found dead by security guards in a wooded area of Bestival in September 2017, on what would have been her 25th birthday. Her parents had rushed from London to Dorset that night, and begged security to let them into the festival to find their daughter.