World / Crime & Legal

Georgia extradites fugitive British speedboat killer Jack Shepherd

AFP-JIJI

Georgian authorities on Wednesday extradited a British man to serve out his six-year sentence in the U.K. over the death of his date on a speedboat, a justice ministry official said.

Fugitive Jack Shepherd, 31, was convicted in his absence of manslaughter last year for the death of Charlotte Brown, a 24-year-old woman he took on a champagne-fuelled first date on his speedboat in the River Thames in 2015.

Shepherd drove over the speed limit and at one point handed Brown the controls. The boat flipped and Brown died in a hospital while Shepherd was rescued. He was charged with manslaughter by negligence.

“Jack Shepherd has been extradited to the U.K.,” spokeswoman Marism Tskhiladze told AFP. The Georgian Airways flight taking Shepherd to London took off from Tbilisi airport, an AFP correspondent said.

Shepherd’s departure follows the decision by a Georgian court in March to extradite Shepherd.

His lawyer said he is “concerned about his safety” in Britain and “wants to be placed in solitary confinement,” monitored round-the-clock, and have access to the media.

Shepherd vanished before his trial in Britain last summer and the court sentenced him to six years in prison. An international warrant was issued for his arrest.

Shepherd turned himself in to the police in Tbilisi in late January, and said in court that he regretted fleeing his trial and felt “suicidally depressed” about what happened.

In an interview to Georgian television this year, Shepherd said he fled to avoid going to prison but still hoped that “my appeal will be granted and that everyone can move forward with their lives.”