Causing Death by Failing to Seek Medical Help: R v Broughton [2020] EWCA Crim 1093

AuthorTony Storey
Published date01 February 2021
Date01 February 2021
Subject MatterCase Note
Case Note
Causing Death by Failing to
Seek Medical Help
R v Broughton [2020] EWCA Crim 1093
Gross negligence manslaughter, obvious and serious risk of death, causation
On Sunday, 10 September 2017, Ceon Broughton (B) and Louella Fletcher-Michie (F) were attend-
ing the Bestival music festival at Lulworth Castle in Dorset. There, B supplied F with 2C-P, a Class
A drug known to have psychedelic properties. B ‘bumped up’ the drug either by giving F an
increased dosage or by mixing it with ecstasy or ketamine. B and F left the festival grounds for
nearby woodland at around 4.30 pm. There, F suffered a ‘bad’ reaction to the drug and began
hallucinating. Over the next several hours, B took ‘live’ photographs and recorded videos of F. In a
video recorded around 6 pm, F could be seen slapping herself and shouting. At around 6.45 pm,
B rang F’s mother, who told him to take F to the festival’s medical tent, which was approximately
400 metres away. B did not do so but told F’s mother that he would look after her. At 7 pm, F’s
brother texted B, asking him to take F to the medical tent. Again, B did not do so but instead took
some more photographs of F. At around 7.15 pm, B’s friend Ezra Campbell (C), who was at the
festival, rang B. B told C to ‘get the medics’ to the forest. This was followed by several text
messages between B and F’s father and brother.
At around 8.15 pm, by which time the sun had set, B made another video of F. She was now lying on
her back, making ‘animal like’ noises. One of the Crown’s experts, Professor Deakin, described her as
‘seriously unwell and in need of urgent medical care’ at this time. This was followed by more text
messages between B and F’s mother and between B and C. At 8.30 pm, B tried to send a Google Maps
pin to C to indicate his location in the woods, but C replied to say that he did not have Google Maps on
his phone. At 8.45 pm, B made another video of F, who was ‘groaning and moaning’. This was followed
by further texts at around 8.50 pm between B and C wherein B asked C to send medics and tried but
failed to explain where he and F were. This was followed by a series of texts to B from F’s mother, father,
sister and from C. The latter had apparently contacted medics but had inadvertently sent them to the
‘Ambient Forest’, part of the festival site, and not to the woods. At 9.10 pm, B took some ‘live’
photographs of F. This showed that she was ‘making unintelligible noises’ and had scratches on her
forehead and nose.
At 10.30 pm, B texted C to say that ‘She just kooled down’ and ‘So Ima carry her’. Ten minutes later,
he took some more ‘live’ photographs of F. This showed her hands covered in scratches, that she was still
‘making unintelligible sounds’, and that her condition appeared to be deteriorating. This was followed by
a series of texts between B and C and between B and F’s father and brother, indicating that he (B) was
going to carry her, that she would sleep it off, that he would make sure she got medical help and that he
did not want to leave her. B did not in fact carry F, but at 11.25 pm he took more ‘live’ photographs of
her. This showed her lying down covered by a coat. Professor Deakin considered that F was most likely
dead at this time.
The Journal of Criminal Law
2021, Vol. 85(1) 62–65
ªThe Author(s) 2021
Article reuse guidelines:
DOI: 10.1177/0022018320986630

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