London

Speedboat death: No quick extradition of Jack Shepherd

Jack Shepherd Tbilisi court 25 Jan
Image caption Jack Shepherd appeared in an extradition hearing in the Georgian capital Tbilisi last week

A judge has ruled against a petition to quickly extradite speedboat killer Jack Shepherd back to the UK.

He was convicted of the manslaughter by gross negligence of Charlotte Brown, but fled to Georgia.

After months on the run, he surrendered himself to Georgian police and was jailed for three months ahead of an extradition hearing.

Attempts were made by Georgian prosecutors to return Shepherd "within days rather than months".

His lawyer Mariam Kublashvili says the charge he was convicted of does not apply under Georgian law.

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Media captionCharlotte Brown’s father Graham told BBC Radio 5 Live he felt an “overwhelming sense of emotion” following the arrest

The comments came as Shepherd appeared in Tbilisi City Court to hear whether he would be extradited earlier than thought.

Speaking from inside a glass box, he declined the opportunity to return to the UK.

In a previous appearance at the same court, Shepherd was jailed for three months ahead of an extradition hearing.

However, the Georgian prosecutor's office is asking the court to grant "simplified" procedures so Shepherd can be sent back to the UK sooner.

His defence team say they oppose the expedited extradition.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Shepherd was jailed for three months when he appeared in court in Georgia last week

Shepherd's lawyers told the judge there was a risk to Shepherd's safety in Britain and cited recent Nazi death threats made to his solicitor, Richard Egan, in the UK.

Both prosecution and defence lawyers in Georgia said they are yet to receive all the documents from the British authorities related to the case.

In an interview with the BBC, Mrs Kublashvili said Shepherd "preferred" to serve his sentence in Georgia.

She added: "What happened in the river of Thames is not a crime by Georgian law.

"If their behaviour which the person made or did not make is not in Georgian law a crime, the person must be not extradited.

"He prefers to serve his sentence in Georgia. For him it is better to stay here if it is possible."

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Media captionJack Shepherd told police he never asked if Charlotte Brown could swim

Shepherd was convicted in his absence at the Old Bailey and sentenced to six years following the death of Ms Brown when the pair were thrown overboard in December 2015.

Ms Brown, 24, had been on a date with Shepherd on the River Thames when the crash happened.

They were thrown from the boat when it hit branches in the water near Wandsworth Bridge at about midnight.

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

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