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Speedboat killer returns to UK to face six-year sentence

Special Penitentiary Service of Georgia handout photo of speedboat killer Jack Shepherd being led to a police van as he is due to be returned to the UK  after 10 months on the run, ahead of an appearance at the Old Bailey. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday April 10, 2019. Shepherd is due to arrive in the country late on Wednesday after flying back from Georgia escorted by Metropolitan Police officers. See PA story COURTS Speedboat. Photo credit should read: Special Penitentiary Service of Georgia/PA Wire

NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Special Penitentiary Service of Georgia handout photo of speedboat killer Jack Shepherd being led to a police van as he is due to be returned to the UK after 10 months on the run, ahead of an appearance at the Old Bailey. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday April 10, 2019. Shepherd is due to arrive in the country late on Wednesday after flying back from Georgia escorted by Metropolitan Police officers. See PA story COURTS Speedboat. Photo credit should read: Special Penitentiary Service of Georgia/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Speedboat killer Jack Shepherd has been flown back to the UK after spending ten months on the run.

Charlotte Brown, 24, from Clacton, died after a speedboat crash on the River Thames which Jack Shepherd was driving. Picture: METROPOLITAN POLICE/PA WIRECharlotte Brown, 24, from Clacton, died after a speedboat crash on the River Thames which Jack Shepherd was driving. Picture: METROPOLITAN POLICE/PA WIRE

The 31-year-old was extradited from Tbilisi after he fled the country after he was sentenced to six years in prison over the death of 24-year-old Charlotte Brown, from Clacton-on-Sea.

Questioned by reporters on board the plane back to the UK, Shepherd said he was “acting on emotion and fear” when he fled the country and now wants to “make amends”.

He will appear in front of a judge at the Old Bailey on Thursday before he begins his prison sentence.

Asked why he fled, Shepherd told reporters on the plane: “I wasn’t thinking at the time, I was acting on emotion and fear and I made a mistake.

“But now I’m trying to make amends.”

A jury found Shepherd guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence in his absence after he skipped bail last summer.

The web designer’s trial heard that he had been drinking champagne on a first date with Ms Brown when they went on the speedboat ride.

His 14ft Fletcher Arrowflyte boat had a series of defects and was speeding when it overturned near Wandsworth Bridge, throwing Ms Brown to her death in the water.

Shepherd, originally from Exeter, was plucked from the cold river.

He made his last appearance before the Old Bailey in November 2017 to deny manslaughter.

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

The jury found him guilty and Judge Richard Marks QC sentenced him in absentia.

Shepherd told reporters he now felt “ready to face” prison and had “come to terms” with spending time behind bars.

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