Charlotte Brown death: Speedboat killer ‘left UK before trial’

UK
Jack Shepherd Image copyright Steve Parsons
Image caption Shepherd let Charlotte Brown drive his speedboat for a “thrill”, the Old Bailey heard

A man convicted of killing a woman in a speedboat crash on the River Thames left the country before his trial.

Jack Shepherd was sentenced to six years for the manslaughter of Charlotte Brown, but has been on the run since being found guilty in July.

The BBC has been told “there are records” of Shepherd being in Tbilisi, Georgia, since March and “no sign” of him leaving that country.

The Met Police and the Home Office declined to comment on his whereabouts.

Miss Brown’s family are due to meet Home Secretary Sajid Javid on Tuesday to discuss what has been done since Shepherd was convicted.

Shepherd first appeared at the Old Bailey on 26 January where he entered a not guilty plea to a charge of manslaughter by gross negligence.

Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption Charlotte Brown, known as Charli, was a business development consultant from London

Judge Richard Marks QC released the 31-year-old on unconditional bail.

However, Shepherd failed to show up for his three-week trial at the Old Bailey in July.

He was found guilty of the manslaughter by gross negligence of 24-year-old Miss Brown by a majority of 11-1 and sentenced in his absence.

Following his conviction an international arrest warrant was issued, meaning other law enforcement agencies across the world have been alerted.

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Media captionCharlotte Brown’s sister Katie (middle) appealed for Shepherd to “take responsibility for the devastation he has caused our family”

After meeting on the dating website OkCupid, Shepherd took Miss Brown on a date on 8 December 2015.

Shepherd spent £150 on wine and food at a restaurant in The Shard before taking Ms Brown on a speedboat he claimed he owned.

Ms Brown and Shepherd were thrown from the boat when it hit branches in the water near Wandsworth Bridge close to midnight.

Shepherd was found clinging to the hull and Ms Brown, from Clacton, Essex, was pulled from the water unconscious and unresponsive.

A post-mortem examination found she died from cold water immersion.

Despite being in hiding, Shepherd has won the right to appeal against his conviction.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption The boat was taken to the Old Bailey car park to be inspected by jurors during the trial

Ahead of a meeting with Mr Javid, Miss Brown’s father, Graham Brown, said Shepherd needed to “atone for his crass and reckless actions”.

“We want to hear from the home secretary on what action is being taken to bring Shepherd to justice.

“We also want to know that this operation will be fully resourced until he is found and put behind bars.”

His lawyers have been contacted for comment by the BBC.

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