Speedboat killer Jack Shepherd will remain in custody in Georgia for three months ahead of extradition proceedings which he intends to contest, a court has heard.
The 31-year-old web designer appeared at Tbilisi City Court on Friday – six months after he was convicted of killing 24-year-old Charlotte Brown during a speedboat date on the Thames.
Assisted by an interpreter as he sat in the dock, the court heard Shepherd, who arrived in Georgia in March last year, speak of his regret at missing his trial.
One of his defence lawyers said Shepherd should not be extradited because he was warned in a phone call his life might be in danger if he goes to a UK jail.
As he addressed the court Shepherd, who has been working in Georgia, said he greatly regrets going out on the speedboat and that the accident left him depressed and suicidal.
He said this is why he has been unable to speak about what occurred that night, and further expressed his regret at not taking part in the trial.
Shepherd revealed he wishes he had sat down with Ms Brown’s family and explained what had happened, and that he handed himself in to bring closure to the accident and its consequences.
The court also heard that Shepherd has alcohol dependency and wants to conduct the appeal against his conviction from Georgia.
He surrendered himself at a police station in the nation’s capital of Tbilisi on Wednesday. Wearing a long beard and a smile, he was flanked by lawyers and gave an interview proclaiming his innocence.
Ms Brown, 24, from Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, died after plunging into the icy waters of the River Thames when Shepherd’s boat crashed during a Champagne-laden date in London in December 2015.
Shepherd, originally from Exeter, went on the run before his trial at the Old Bailey and jurors found him guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence.
He was sentenced to six years imprisonment but remained at liberty.
The Crown Prosecution Service said prosecutors are currently “consulting with the authorities in Georgia to progress our extradition request”.
Cabinet ministers were among those celebrating his surrender, and Theresa May’s official spokesman said the Prime Minister “welcomes the news that he is now in custody”.
He added: “The Government will now work alongside the police and the Crown Prosecution Service to ensure that extradition proceedings are expedited.”