The race is on to ‘swiftly’ extradite fugitive speed boat killer Jack Shepherd, despite his lawyers claiming it could take months for him to return the UK as he may fight extradition from Georgia.
The 31-year-old surrendered at a police station in the nation’s capital of Tbilisi on Wednesday, 23 January – six months after he was convicted of killing 24-year-old Charlotte Brown during a speedboat date on the Thames.
On Wednesday night the Crown Prosecution Service was preparing an extradition request to be lodged with Georgian legal authorities. However Shepherd’s lawyer has said it could be ‘months’ before he returns to the UK, despite experts suggesting the UK authorities would want to ‘urgently extradite him’.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said it is ‘vital Charlotte Brown’s family see justice done’ and UK law enforcement will ‘seek to swiftly extradite him to Britain’.
Jack Shepherd (pictured above) surrendered at a police station in Georgia on Wednesday
Jack Shepherd (right) was convicted of killing 24-year-old Charlotte Brown (left) during a speedboat date on the Thames
The web designer was found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence and sentenced to six years in prison in his absence, although he was controversially granted leave to appeal in December.
Ms Brown’s family said they were overwhelmed with emotion after it emerged Shepherd had surrendered and her father said it was time for him to ‘atone’ for his actions.
However, speaking to the Press Association, Shepherd’s lawyer, Tariel Kakabadze, said he may go before a court in Tbilisi on Thursday or Friday, but suggested it may be ‘some time’ before he returns to the UK.
Charlotte’s sister Kate (right with Charlotte) has slammed Shepherd for his behavior
‘Extradition doesn’t happen in one or two days. All the documents will need to be translated, many things will need to be made ready,’ he said.
‘Depending on what evidence they show us… it might be very soon or it might be several months.’
A spokesman for the Extradition Lawyers Association said: ‘I would imagine it will take an age. Unless he consents to extradition, it will largely depend on political will.
‘There is very little extradition to or from Georgia. It happens very, very seldom and I can’t think of a single case. In terms of how long it would take, I would say it would be a very lengthy process unless the defendant consents to be extradited or he is deported as a result of his visa being revoked.’
Scotland Yard, the force leading the investigation, have now been updated by the National Crime Agency on the development and are awaiting confirmation of Shepherd’s identity and once his identity is secured, the Metropolitan Police have said proceeding ‘will begin immediately’ to extradite Shepherd, who has been the subject of an international arrest warrant.
Under Georgian law, prosecutors are required to apply for restriction measures for a person wanted in another country within 48 hours of them being arrested.
Ms Brown’s family had reiterated their calls for the 31-year-old to hand himself in after he fled justice ahead of his trial at the Old Bailey.
Now the family has slammed the 31-year-old and his ‘unbelievable arrogance’, following watching his police interview where he boasted of partying in Georgia.
Charlotte’s sister Kate said she thinks Shepherd went to the police station for ‘purely selfish reasons’ because he wants his appeal to be successful and that she believes he thinks he will not serve his sentence.
Charlotte’s sister Kate (pictured above) said couldn’t believe Shepherd’s arrogance
Speaking on the case extradition lawyer Thomas Garner from Gherson solicitors said due to the nature of the case the UK would be ‘urgently seeking’ Sheperd’s extradition.
‘Following Jack Shepherd’s surrender to the Georgian authorities it is anticipated that the UK will be seeking his urgent extradition back to the UK. Extradition between Georgia and the UK is governed by the 1957 European Convention on Extradition. It is too early to say how long this process will take.
‘Were he to consent to his return he could be back in the UK in a matter of weeks but in the event that he contests his extradition the matter could take a considerable period of time.
‘It would naturally be wrong to comment on the specifics of any possible bars to extradition he might raise and it is important that the Georgian process is allowed to take its course. However, given the high profile nature of the case and the direct involvement of the Home Secretary himself it is clear that the UK authorities will be putting all their resources and energy in securing a speedy resolution to the matter.’
On Wednesday a heavily-bearded Shepherd smiled as he walked into the station some 2,000 miles away while flanked by lawyers.
He vowed to local reporters he would clear his name over the ‘tragic accident’.
After handing himself in to police Shepherd (pictured above centre) was led away in handcuffs by Georgian police
Ms Brown’s father, Graham Brown, celebrated the ‘overwhelming’ development, writing on Facebook: ‘Justice for Charlotte is close!’
‘My opinions towards Jack Shepherd is that he’s a very crass, reckless man, who managed to abscond and stick two fingers up at the judiciary,’ Mr Brown told BBC Radio 5 Live.
‘He’s got to come back to atone for all that and I think that he’s done the right thing and thank goodness he’s realised that now and handed himself in.’
Ms Brown, from Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, died in December 2015 when Shepherd’s boat flipped into the wintry waters of the River Thames in London after they shared a Champagne-fuelled first date.
The speedboat (pictured above) owned by Jack Sheperd, who was found guilty of killing Charlotte Brown
The family of Ms Brown, known to loved ones as Charli, ramped up pressure in recent weeks and renewed their calls for Shepherd to surrender after they met with Home Secretary Sajid Javid on Tuesday.
A timeline of the speedboat killer
December 8 2015: Jack Shepherd and Charlotte Brown meet for a date where he takes her to the Shard for dinner, before taking a taxi back to Shepherd’s home, a houseboat in Hammersmith, where they took champagne on board his speedboat for their ride past parliament.
March 2018: Shepherd was charged with GBH following an incident in which he allegedly knocked a barman unconscious with a vodka bottle in a pub while ‘blind drunk’. He then failed to appear at a hearing for that case at the Old Bailey regarding Miss Brown’s manslaughter.
July 2018: An international arrest warrant is issued for Shepherd
July 26 2018: Shepherd, despite being absent from court was found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence
July 27 2018: Shepherd is sentenced to six years’ imprisonment – Shepherd’s wife is then said to have told police that the 33-year-old had travelled to Georgia.
January 22 2019: Family of Charlotte meet with Savid Javid before making a television appeal for Shepherd to ‘do the right thing’
January 23 2019: Shepherd hands himself in to police in Georgia
A day later Shepherd – wearing a long coat, jeans and a checked scarf – waved and smiled as he walked into the station from a black car, footage on Georgian television station Rustavi2 showed.
Speaking to journalists, he said: ‘Yes, my name is Jack Shepherd. I was involved in a tragic accident… in which a lady called Charlotte Brown tragically died.’
Billed by the network as an ‘exclusive interview’, Shepherd added he hopes ‘justice will be done’ with his pending appeal against the conviction.
He continued to say he hopes ‘I can just’, before pausing to correct himself and add, ‘everybody can move forward with their lives’.
The family’s MP, James Brokenshire, said Shepherd’s ‘wanton and selfish actions’ had heaped further strain on the family ‘at a time of unimaginable grief’.
While Shepherd was on the run, his lawyers have been working to appeal against the conviction.
Shepherd’s UK solicitor Richard Egan said: ‘In the light of today’s developments I don’t think it would be appropriate to comment further until Mr Shepherd is back in the jurisdiction.’
MailOnline has contacted Richard Egan and Tuckers Solicitors for further comments on how Shepherd intends to proceed once he returns to the UK.
‘Unbelievable arrogance!’: Sister’s fury as smiling speed boat killer strolls into police station in Georgia boasting of partying in nightclubs while family of victim were left in ‘agony’ in Britain
Appearing on BBC Breakfast, Charlotte Brown’s sister Katie said when the family heard Jack Shepherd had handed himself in they were all ‘very shocked and relieved’.
‘Last night as we saw his TV interview, we had increasing feelings of anger. To see him just stroll into the police station smiling and waving it was unbelievable – his arrogance over everything.’
As she sat next to a framed photo of her sister, she said she thinks Shepherd went to the police station for ‘purely selfish reasons’ because he wants his appeal to be successful and that she believes he thinks he will not serve his sentence.
Asked how she feels about the comments Shepherd made to reporters in Georgia, where he said he was frightened about what might happen and how he hopes justice will prevail, she said: ‘He seems to be concerned about his own feelings and how he’s felt throughout the whole thing, and has had no empathy or remorse for his reckless actions.
‘He has caused the loss of my sister’s life and whilst he’s been off in Georgia, he claims that he went to see friends and he has always wanted to see the scenery there – almost like he was claiming it was a holiday.
‘He said that he has been out socialising, going to nightclubs, so whilst he has been doing that we have been back here, had the agony of the trial, left to pick up the pieces.
‘He is not thinking about Charlie, us, respect for the legal system, all he is thinking about is himself and his feelings.’