Essex woman's killer due in court in Georgia

25 January 2019, 06:04 | Updated: 25 January 2019, 06:18

Jack Shepherd

Jack Shepherd is expected to appear in a Georgian court later - six months after he was convicted in his absence of the manslaughter of a woman from Clacton-on-Sea.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is working towards requesting the web designer's extradition back to the UK to face justice over the death of Charlotte Brown after he surrendered to police in Tbilisi.

The 31-year-old is due to be produced at Tbilisi City Court on Friday for a short hearing, during which it is believed Georgian prosecutors will apply to keep him in custody.

Ms Brown, 24, died after plunging into the icy waters of the River Thames when Shepherd's boat crashed during a Champagne-laden date in London in December 2015.

Shepherd, originally from Exeter, went on the run before his trial at the Old Bailey and jurors found him guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence.

He was sentenced to six years imprisonment, but remained at liberty.

That was until Wednesday when, wearing a long beard and a smile, Shepherd walked into a Georgian police station flanked by lawyers and gave an interview proclaiming his innocence.

The CPS said prosecutors are currently "consulting with the authorities in Georgia to progress our extradition request".

Tariel Kakabadze, Shepherd's lawyer in Georgia, said he may still fight his extradition to the UK, where his legal team has been granted leave to appeal his conviction.

Mr Kakabadze said: "It's Jack Shepherd's decision not to fight for release on today's court session."

Under Georgian law, he can be detained for up to nine months before extradition, he added.

Shepherd is also being represented by Mariam Kublashvili, a lawyer who reportedly appeared on Georgia's version of Strictly Come Dancing.

Prosecutors are required to apply for restriction measures for a person wanted in another country within 48 hours of them being arrested.

Cabinet ministers were among those celebrating his surrender, and Theresa May's official spokesman said the Prime Minister "welcomes the news that he is now in custody".

He added: "The Government will now work alongside the police and the Crown Prosecution Service to ensure that extradition proceedings are expedited."