‘Selfish’ speedboat killer jailed for fleeing UK

Speedboat killer Jack Shepherd was branded “cowardly” and “selfish” as he was jailed for six months for going on the run to avoid justice.

The family of Charlotte Brown, (left to right) mother Roz Wickens, sisters Vicky and Katie Brown and father Graham Brown, speaking outside the Old Bailey, London following the appearance of speedboat killer Jack Shepherd who was returned to the UK following 10 months on the run. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

He was brought before the Old Bailey yesterday for the first time since he skipped bail ahead of his trial last summer over the death of Charlotte Brown in a boat accident.

The 31-year-old, who was extradited from Georgia, admitted breaching his bail and was told he will serve six months on top of his six-year manslaughter sentence.

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During the hearing, Shepherd came face to face with Ms Brown’s parents, Graham Brown and Roz Wickens, but avoided eye contact.

Judge Marks told Shepherd the case was “overwhelming, unanswerable”.

In making a “conscious, deliberate and considered decision” to go on the run, he had “hugely added to the distress of Charlotte’s family who could not have known when, if at all, you would be apprehended, you the person who had spent the last hours of her life with their beloved daughter and sister”.

Judge Marks said: “Your conduct in absenting yourself from justice for so long was as cowardly as it was selfish.”

He said Shepherd’s absence from his trial interfered with the administration of justice, adding: “A serious and highly unusual feature of the case was the fact that, although your lawyers were unaware of your whereabouts, you have provided them with a means of communicating with you.

“The effect of this was, as I gleaned during the trial, that notes of the entirety of the evidence were being sent to you on a frequent basis via the internet, [and] were received from you about certain aspects of the case.

“You were in effect having your cake and eating it. This is not how our system of justice is intended to operate.”

Judge Marks said Shepherd’s decision to flee to Georgia rather than face justice had “greatly exacerbated” the feelings of Ms Brown’s family who were already “distraught”.

Speaking outside the court, Ms Brown’s father said the family felt “a sense of relief”.

He said: “Due to Shepherd’s recklessness and negligence, Charlotte isn’t here to defend herself. There is a sense of relief, finally, that we are going to get some justice for Charlotte.

“To us he has shown no remorse and he hasn’t taken any responsibility for the dreadful actions he caused that night. Charlotte would still be here today if it wasn’t for Shepherd.”