Speedboat Death Man Appeals Conviction While On The Run

Manhunt continues for Jack Shepherd who was sentenced in his absence

The man who was found guilty of killing his date on the Thames near Wandsworth Bridge has now appealed against his conviction despite being on the run.

Jack Shepherd has been in hiding since he was found guilty in July of the manslaughter by gross negligence of Charlotte Brown in December 2015.

It was confirmed this Thursday (30 August) that Mr Shepherd's lawyers have lodged an appeal against his conviction and sentence.

Jack Shepherd failed to attend his Old Bailey trial in July, when the court heard how he had allowed the Miss Brown to drive his defective speedboat at speed on the River Thames after dark and without a life jacket.

Jack Shepherd
Jack Shepherd

He was sentenced to six years in jail in his absence and a warrant was issued for his arrest. An international manhunt is ongoing.

Shepherd, aged 30, is described as being from Abergavenny in Wales but also lived on a houseboat in Hammersmith. Police are appealing for assistance from the public in tracing him as he was last seen in March 2018 in Devon.

Charlotte Brown
Charlotte 'Charli' Brown

23-year-old Charlotte 'Charli' Brown was on a first date with Jack Shepherd when she died. A red 14ft Fletcher Arrowflyte GTO speedboat had been used to bring Charlotte along the Thames after she had been taken to a meal at the Shard on 8th December 2015. Shepherd allowed Charlotte to steer the boat but it hit a log while travelling in excess of the speed limit and capsized, throwing both of them into the water. Neither were wearing life jackets. Charlotte was taken to hospital but died a few hours later.

A post-mortem examination of Charli was held at St George's Hospital mortuary and her cause of death was later given as cold water immersion and intoxication.

A report presented to the court by port authority surveyor Andrew Thomas outlined a number of issues with the boat including a lack of an attachment on the kill cord. It also became difficult to steer at high speeds.

Investigating officer, DS Christopher Davis from the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said, “A jury has decided that Charlotte’s life was lost due to Jack Shepherd’s reckless actions. To take his boat out at night, whilst drinking, in winter conditions and without offering Charlotte a life jacket or even asking if she could swim was a recipe for disaster. That night ended in a tragedy and the consequences will live with Charlotte’s family forever.

"We are currently conducting numerous inquiries to find Shepherd and speaking to his friends and family. We are keeping an open mind on whether he has left the country. If anyone knows where Shepherd is, or has any information on his whereabouts, I would ask them to contact police immediately on 020 8721 4005 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

“We are fully resolved to ensure that Charlotte family get the justice and closure they deserve."

August 31, 2018