Speedboat killer to be brought before Old Bailey

Speedboat killer Jack Shepherd is expected to be brought before the Old Bailey on Thursday, after 10 months on the run.

The 31-year-old skipped bail last summer and was found guilty of the manslaughter of 24-year-old Charlotte Brown in his absence.

He is expected to be escorted by Metropolitan Police officers on a flight back from Georgia to the UK on Wednesday.

Shepherd will then be brought before an Old Bailey judge before he starts his six-year prison sentence.

The web designer last appeared at the court in November 2017 when he denied Ms Brown’s manslaughter.

Jack Shepherd case
Charlotte Brown was thrown from a speedboat into the River Thames during a first date (Metropolitan Police/PA)

It emerged at the start of his trial last June that he would not attend court but was in regular contact with his defence team who carried on without him.

The jury was not told he had failed to attend in breach of his bail, rather that he was simply not in the dock, to avoid them being unfairly influenced by his absence.

The court had heard how Shepherd and Ms Brown had been on a champagne-fuelled first date when they went for a late-night speedboat ride down the Thames in December 2015.

The 14ft Fletcher Arrowflyte, which had a series of defects, was speeding when it was thought to have struck a submerged log near Wandsworth Bridge and overturned, throwing Ms Brown to her death in the water.

Shepherd, who had been plucked from the chilly water, was found guilty in his absence and sentenced to six years’ imprisonment by Judge Richard Marks QC.

Jack Shepherd case
The speedboat owned by Jack Shepherd had a series of serious defects, jurors were told (Metropolitan Police/PA)

In December, he was granted permission to appeal against the conviction and handed himself in to authorities in Tbilisi the following month.

His surrender came after repeated public appeals by Ms Brown’s family for him to face justice for her death.

After his extradition was granted by a court last month, her family said he had a weak case and “no choice” but to return.

Her father Graham Brown told ITV: “We are going to get justice for Charlotte.

“We’re hoping that he won’t follow through with his appeal, which causes the family more anguish, but I guess that could be a forlorn hope.”

Speaking from Tbilisi last week, Shepherd apologised to Ms Brown’s family but insisted Ms Brown’s actions caused the fatal accident.

Shepherd also faces a grievous bodily harm charge over an alleged assault in Devon on March 16 last year.

A warrant for his arrest was issued by magistrates in Newton Abbot after he failed to attend the court.

No date has yet been set for the appeal hearing.

The Crown Prosecution Service and Metropolitan Police have declined to comment on the case ahead of Shepherd’s arrival in the UK.

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