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Extradition process set to begin for speedboat killer

Sky News logo Sky News 24/01/2019

a man standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Jack Shepherd walking into a police station in Georgia © Other Jack Shepherd walking into a police station in Georgia UK authorities are expected to seek the extradition of a British man found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter.

The Crown Prosecution Service was drafting a request on Wednesday night to bring Jack Shepherd back to the UK from the ex-Soviet state of Georgia.

Shepherd handed himself in to Georgian police in the country's capital Tbilisi on Wednesday, telling television station Rustavi2: "Yes my name is Jack Shepherd, I was involved in a tragic accident... in which a lady called Charlotte Brown tragically died."

a man wearing glasses: Shepherd appeared to smile at Georgian TV cameras © Sky News Screen Grab Shepherd appeared to smile at Georgian TV cameras

Ms Brown, 24, was killed when Shepherd's speedboat overturned in the River Thames during a first date in December 2015.

Her father, Graham Brown, told Sky News: "He comes across as crass and arrogant with a disregard for the rules and doing the right thing.

"He still has not accepted that he is responsible for the death of my daughter."

a woman wearing a hat: Charlotte Brown was killed in a speedboat accident on the Thames © PA Charlotte Brown was killed in a speedboat accident on the Thames Shepherd had been trying to impress Ms Brown after they met on the dating site OkCupid, but the boat flipped over after he handed her the controls.

Ms Brown, from Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, was recovered from the water unconscious and Shepherd was rescued after being found clinging to the upturned hull.

Shepherd, from Exeter, was sentenced to six years in prison after he was found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter in July 2018.

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He denied the charge but was convicted in his absence.

An international manhunt started last year after he fled before the start of his three-week Old Bailey trial.

Mariam Kublashvili, Shepherd's legal representative in Georgia, told Sky News the 31-year-old is "ready" to prove that he is innocent.

Shepherd will be held for 48 hours before a judge will rule with regards to the extradition process, she said, adding that he had "lost confidence" in his UK lawyer before the trial and had headed for Georgia because he had friends there.

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Shepherd's lawyer Richard Egan had refused to reveal where he is and helped him appeal against his conviction while he was on the run.

The Metropolitan Police had said "extradition proceedings" would begin immediately if the man in Tbilisi was confirmed to be Shepherd.

This confirmation came from Sopho Mdinaradze, a spokeswoman for Georgia's interior ministry, who added that Shepherd would be "detained and afterwards legal procedures will be launched into his extradition to the UK".

Georgian law states that extradition is granted over convicted individuals if they have been sentenced to at least four months' imprisonment.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who had made a "personal commitment" to ensure Shepherd's arrest, tweeted that he would "seek to swiftly extradite him to Britain".

"It is vital Charlotte Brown's family see justice done," he added.

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