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Jack Shepherd: Speedboat killer jailed after fleeing UK

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p07658tc - Jack Shepherd: Speedboat killer jailed after fleeing UK

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Media captionSpeaking on the plane back from Georgia, Jack Shepherd said he regretted going on the run

A man who killed a woman in a speedboat crash has been jailed for an extra six months for fleeing the country.

Jack Shepherd fled before he was convicted of the manslaughter of Charlotte Brown, who died in the crash on the River Thames in central London.

He returned to the UK on Wednesday night after 10 months on the run.

Shepherd, 31, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to breaching bail and absconding and was sent to prison to begin his six and a half year sentence

Sentencing Shepherd, Judge Richard Marks told him: “Charlotte’s family were, of course, devastated by the circumstances by which she met her death, and those feelings were greatly exacerbated by the fact you chose to go on the run.”

Speaking outside court, Ms Brown’s father Graham said the family feel “a sense of relief” after speedboat killer Jack Shepherd was given a six-month jail term for skipping bail.

Her sister Katie added: “As a family we are relieved that Jack Shepherd is now back in the country and commencing his prison sentence. It’s a step closer to justice for Charlie.

“Shepherd has continued to prolong our agony, making wild accusations against our family.”

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Family handout

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Charlotte Brown died in December 2015 when Shepherd took her on a date on his speedboat

Defence barrister Andrew McGee said he understood Shepherd had travelled to Georgia in March last year.

He said he had travelled “under his own name, using his own passport” before he handed himself in to police in Tbilisi in January.

Mr McGee said Shepherd was “overwhelmed by his fear” of a prison sentence.

He added: “It [absconding] was not deliberately callous or cavalier. It was not cynical or calculated.”

Judge Richard Marks said Shepherd was in contact with his lawyers from his “hideaway” during legal proceedings.

He added: “You were, in effect, having your cake and eating it. That is not how our system of justice is supposed to work.”

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Met Police

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Shepherd’s boat was found to have several defects

He was sentenced to an extra six months in prison for skipping bail, to be served consecutively to his six year sentence for manslaughter.

Shepherd, originally from Exeter, left the dock without looking at either the public gallery or Ms Brown’s parents and both sisters who were sat in court.

He last appeared at the Old Bailey in January last year when he denied manslaughter.

Shepherd was released on unconditional bail by Judge Richard Marks QC, but failed to show up for his trial and sentencing in July.

During his trial, jurors heard that Shepherd and Ms Brown went on a late-night high-speed jaunt in his boat past the Houses of Parliament on their first date on 8 December 2015.

The pair were both thrown from the boat when it hit branches in the water near Wandsworth Bridge.

Ms Brown, from Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, was found in the water unconscious and unresponsive, while Shepherd was discovered clinging to the upturned boat.

His trial was told that he was responsible for the speedboat, which had a series of serious defects, including to its steering.

In his absence, a jury found him guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence.

Shepherd has previously been granted the right to appeal against his conviction.

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