Miss Fletcher-Michie, daughter of Holby City and Coronation Street actor John Michie, died after taking the Class A drug during the music festival at Lulworth Castle, Dorset, in September 2017.
She was found dead in the early hours of 11 September – the day she should have celebrated her 25th birthday – in a wooded area at the edge of the festival site.
Broughton, 31, from Enfield in north London, was found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence and handed an eight-and-a-half-year sentence in March last year following a trial at Winchester Crown Court.
But his conviction was overturned by three leading judges, including the Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, yesterday. Giving the court’s ruling, Lord Burnett said the expert evidence on the likelihood of Miss Fletcher-Michie’s chances of survival had she received treatment sooner was “not capable of establishing causation to the criminal standard”.
He said: “In respectful disagreement with the judge, we conclude that the appellant’s main argument, that the case should have been withdrawn from the jury, is established.
“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.”
In the ruling, Lord Burnett set out how Broughton made attempts to get help as he realised Miss Fletcher-Michie was unwell, telling a friend to “get the medics” and sending a pin of his location in the wooded area using Google Maps.
The judge said the only expert jurors had to rely on as to whether Broughton’s actions contributed “significantly” to her death had suggested Miss Fletcher-Michie would have had a 90 per cent chance of survival if she had been provided with medical treatment at 9:10pm – nearly five hours after she took the drug. Given the criminal standard of proof requires jurors to be sure “beyond reasonable doubt”, Lord Burnett said the expert’s evidence was “not enough”, so the issue of whether Broughton caused his girlfriend’s death by gross negligence should not have been left to the jury to decide. It is believed Broughton will now be released as he has served his remaining sentence.
Seven years of the sentence was for the manslaughter conviction, and the Court of Appeal has not ordered a retrial.
Broughton was also found guilty of supplying Miss Fletcher-Michie with 2-CP at the festival and that conviction stands. He previously admitted supplying drugs to Miss Fletcher-Michie at Glastonbury festival in June 2017 and was in breach of a suspended prison sentence imposed for possessing a lock knife and a Stanley knife blade. In a statement, Broughton’s lawyers said: “The Court of Appeal has today found that Louella’s death occurred not as a result of criminal negligence, but was instead a tragic accident.
“Ceon remains devastated by her death. He has always wished that he could have done more to save her.”
A representative for Mr Michie declined to comment.