Web designer GUILTY of killing his date in speedboat crash

Jack Shepherd took his date on a speedboat ride but they crashed and she died

A web designer whose date died when she was thrown into the Thames in a speedboat crash has been convicted of her manslaughter.

A jury at Old Bailey had heard Jack Shepherd, 30, had bought the red 14ft Fletcher Arrowflyte GTO from Gumtree to ‘pull women’.

He met 23-year-old Charlotte Brown on the dating website OK Cupid and they shared two bottles of wine over dinner at The Oblix restaurant before taking to the river in December 2015.

In a video, she made on their way up the Thames to the Houses of Parliament Ms. Brown could be heard yelling: ‘Oh my God, you’re going so fast’.

The boat then hit a partially submerged tree trunk, catapulting the couple into the freezing River Thames.

Shepherd managed to cling onto the upturned bow and call for help, but Ms. Brown, known to her friends and family as Charli, was unresponsive when she was pulled from the water and died later from cold water immersion.

Neither were wearing lifejackets and the speedboat had serious defects including a ‘wobble’ in the steering system and damaged windscreen and seats.

It was also not fitted with a ‘kill cord’ which cuts the engines in the event of an accident, prosecutors said.

Charlotte Brown was pulled from the water after the crash but died from cold water immersion

Charlotte Brown was pulled from the water after the crash but died from cold water immersion

Prosecutors said Shepherd used the speedboat as part of his ‘seduction routine’ and he may have taken up to ten women on a trip up the river.

Amy Warner, another of Shepherd’s dates, said she had to tell him to slow down on her speedboat trip and he was pulled over by the river police for going too fast.

The speedboat capsized opposite Plantation Wharf, near Wandsworth Bridge and Shepherd was found clinging to the upturned bow of the boat.

He was unsteady on his feet and still reeked of alcohol after lifeguards hauled him from the river.

Shepherd, from Abergavenny, Wales, was slurring is words as he asked: ‘Is she alright? Have you found her?’.

He denied manslaughter by gross negligence but was convicted in his absence.


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