Speedboat killer to appear in Georgian court
PUBLISHED: 10:34 25 January 2019 | UPDATED: 11:30 25 January 2019
After months on the run, speedboat killer Jack Shepherd will appear in court after being convicted of manslaughter six months ago.
The 31-year-old fugitive is facing efforts to extradite him from Georgia back to the UK to face justice over the death of 24-year-old Charlotte Brown, from Clacton.
Shepherd surrendered to police in Tbilisi after 10 months on the run and is due to appear in Tbilisi City Court this morning where it is believed prosecutors will apply to keep Shepherd in Georgian custody.
Ms Brown, 24, died after being plunged into the River Thames on December, 8 2015 following a date with Shepherd, a web designer.
Ms Brown, a business development consultant, and Shepherd, originally from Exeter, met in person for the first time that day and had dinner at The Shard in London, drank two bottles of wine, and then set-off for a late-night speedboat ride towards Westminster.
At around 11,45pm police were called to Wandsworth Bridge after reports of someone in distress. Both Shepherd and Ms Brown were pulled from the water and Ms Brown sadly died later in hospital.
Shepherd then went on the run before his trial at the Old Bailey where he was found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence. He was sentenced to six years imprisonment in his absence on July 27, 2018, and an international manhunt was launched by police. During his time on the run, and still a fugitive from justice, he launched an appeal against his conviction in December.
On January 22, Home Secretary Sajid Javid underlined his personal commitment to finding Shepherd when he met with Ms Brown’s family.
The following day Shepherd handed himself into police in Tiblisi with a smile on his face, claiming his innocence. He told reporters it was a “tragic accident”.
The Crown Prosecution Service and the Metropolitan Police have since been consulting with Georgian authorities to have Shepherd extradited back to the UK.
Under Georgian law Shepherd can be detained for up to nine months before extradition if he decides to appeal his conviction.
Tariel Kakabadze, Shepherd’s legal representative in Georgia, said: “It’s Jack Shepherd’s decision not to fight for release on today’s court session.”
Prosecutors are required to apply for restriction measures for a person wanted in another country within 48 hours of them being arrested.
Theresa May’s official spokesman celebrated Shepherd’s surrender and said that 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.”
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