A man is in hiding from police after being convicted of killing his companion in a speedboat accident on the River Thames.
In December 2015, Jack Shepherd, 30, met Charlotte Brown, 24, on the OkCupid website and took her on a date in his Fletcher Arrowflyte speedboat. The boat capsized later and Brown was killed.
Shepherd was charged with grossly negligent manslaughter, which he denied on the grounds that he owed no “duty of care” to Brown, but was convicted in his absence at the Old Bailey.
Following his conviction, it can be reported that he omitted the bond and did not attend his trial, to the wrath of Brown’s grieving parents in court.
Despite sending instructions to his legal team over the phone, police have not been able to locate him and his whereabouts are unknown.
His family begged Shepherd to appear in court for his conviction on Friday. In a statement on behalf of relatives, the victim’s sister, Katie Brown, said: ‘Charlie died because she thought she would be safe traveling on Jack Shepherd’s speedboat – a speedboat which we know he was unsure of and bought for the sole purpose of seducing young women and the one he had used recklessly many times before.
“During the trial, in his absence, when the court and the police do not know his whereabouts, Jack Shepherd has been granted more rights than Charlie.”
Brown added: “We now call on Jack Shepherd wherever he is in the world to come back and take responsibility for his guilt and the devastation he caused by his actions that fateful night – we call on family and them. Jack Shepherd’s friends to appeal to him and urge him to face the consequences of his actions.
Witnesses said Shepherd had entertained a number of women on his speedboat before Brown, having purchased it with the intention of “pulling”. He was reportedly caught speeding the boat several times before his date with Brown, and a previous date recounted asking Shepherd to slow down and take a cab home because ‘she was very uncomfortable with speed.
Jurors in the trial also learned that there were a number of flaws on the boat, including faulty steering, hard-to-reach life jackets and an unplugged stop cord.
On their first date on December 8, Shepherd and Brown had an expensive meal and two bottles of wine before boarding the speedboat with champagne.
Cell phone footage shows Brown yelling about the speed as Shepherd drove over 24 knots on the river, more than double the speed limit.
The boat capsized near the Wandsworth Bridge when it struck a submerged log. Shepherd and Brown were both thrown into the water and local resident Steven Morrissey said he heard Shepherd screaming for help.
Brown was unresponsive when she was pulled from the river, already in both hypothermia and cardiac arrest. Paramedics attended to her, but she was later pronounced dead.
Shepherd was found conscious, holding onto the overturned boat. He later told police that he had a “fuzzy memory” of the night’s events. “I had no idea what had happened,” he said. It can now be reported that Shepherd told his lawyers in mid-May that he would not be attending his trial in July, but the prosecution and court only found out a week before.
In a legal debate, the prosecution said police spoke to his mother on June 27 and was told that he had not been in contact since March and that his phone number was no longer in touch. was more connected. His defense team insisted that they did not know where he was even though his lawyer had maintained telephone contact.
It later emerged that Shepherd had received daily trial updates from his legal team. But they successfully argued that the reason for his absence should be withheld from the jurors who were deciding his case and that they should only be told that he was not in the dock and had “chosen.” Not to testify.
Jafferjee said the lawyers had “danced on pins” as they discussed exactly what to say to the jury as the defense objected to the words “did not show up.”
Police are also looking at Shepherd for another unrelated case.