Wandsworth Bridge Speedboat Killer To Return To UK

Jack Shepherd now intends to challenge his conviction in Court of Appeal

The man convicted of killing 24-year-old Charlotte Brown during a speedboat crash has agreed to be extradited back to the UK following his imprisonment in Georgia.

Jack Shepherd was convicted last summer of killing his date on the Thames near Wandsworth Bridge in December 2015. He went into hiding whilst his trial took place in July 2018 but handed himself into police in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi in January this year. He now wants to return to the UK to appeal his conviction. Following a court hearing in Tbilisi today (March 26th) Shepherd's lawyer, Tariel Kakabadeze, says he will now not fight a formal request from the UK asking Georgia to extradite him.

Jack Shepherd

The 31 year-old web designer (above) was found guilty, in his absence of the manslaughter by gross negligence of 24-year-old Charlotte, who drowned after he drunkenly flipped his boat. Shepherd was sentenced to six years in jail.

It was confirmed in August that Mr Shepherd's lawyers had lodged an appeal against his conviction and sentence, and in January this year the Court of Appeal confirmed that a judge has given permission to appeal against the conviction.

Jack Shepherd is from Abergavenny, Wales but also lived on a houseboat in Hammersmith.

On Tuesday, 8 December 2015, Shepherd had met 24-year-old Charlotte, who preferred to be known as Charli, at a restaurant at the Shard. This was their first date and the pair consumed two bottles of wine before they went back to Shepherd's houseboat after he told Charli that he had a speedboat and they could take it out on the river.

They both took a taxi to his houseboat near Hammersmith Bridge. A message from Charli to her sister at 10.12pm said, "Still Alive. Waiting for the tide so we can take it out." When asked she confirmed that they were going out in Shepherd's speedboat.

Later that evening, the couple went out on the speedboat, called Arrowflyte and Shepherd described how he drove the boat from Hammersmith to central London and part of the way back. Neither were wearing lifejackets and Shepherd later told police there were two life jackets stored in the boat, but these were out of view. He also admitted that he did not tell Charli about the lifejackets or asked her if she could swim.

The pair continued drinking alcohol on the speedboat as Shepherd drove from Hammersmith Bridge to Waterloo Bridge. Shepherd stated that he was exceeding the speed limit of 12 knots for that stretch of the river and was probably driving erratically, but that he had done it lots of times in the past. He clarified that he normally drove the boat "flat out" on a straight stretch at approximately 30 mph, but 15 mph if there were obstructions in the river.

Charlotte Brown
Charlotte 'Charli' Brown

A witness later told police that at about 11pm he was standing on the pontoon on the river when his attention was drawn to the noise of a boat engine and the sound of shrieks and laughter. He then saw a red Fletcher style boat driving erratically and at speed, which he thought especially unusual due to the late hour. He saw the boat continuing to make manoeuvres at speed before disappearing.

Another witness who lives near Wandsworth Bridge, told police she was watching TV when she was disturbed by the noise made from a boat. When she looked out she saw a poorly lit boat travelling along the Thames which she thought unusual given the time.

She watched it travel along the centre of the river before veering towards the mooring. She believed the boat was heading for shore, as the engine did not sound right. She witnessed it heading towards the mooring wall and then briefly lost sight before hearing a loud crash. After afew seconds she heard a man shouting for help and called police.

Wandsworth Bridge Speedboat

At about 11.43pm the speedboat collided with a submerged or partially submerged object in the water, believed to be a tree trunk or piece of timber, which the court heard is not uncommon in the Thames.

Due to the boat's speed and its position in the water - believed to be caused by taking last minute evasive action to avoid the object - it capsized a few hundred yards from Wandsworth Bridge.

Eye witnesses who were walking along the river path, and also residents from flats on both side of the river, reported hearing a man calling for help from the river. Shepherd was eventually located clinging to the upturned speedboat and informed police and the RNLI that his girlfriend had been with him.

Charli was recovered from the water at 12.10am by the Marine Units but despite the efforts of the emergency services Miss Brown never regained consciousness. She was pronounced dead at St George's Hospital at 1.55am on 9 December 2015.


January 4, 2019



March 26, 2019