Speedboat killer Jack Shepherd is expected to appear in a Georgian court this morning – six months after he fled the UK ahead of his trial for manslaughter.
The 31-year-old surrendered at a police station in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi on Wednesday, six months after he was convicted of killing Charlotte Brown, 24, during a speedboat ride on the River Thames on their first date.
Ms Brown died after the speedboat overturned during the night out in December 2015 – and Shepherd was found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence and sentenced to six years in prison in his absence.
His disappearance ahead of his trial sparked an international manhunt and Ms Brown’s family had warned at the time that “justice is coming”.
His appearance in a Tbilisi court later is expected to be short and it is believed Georgian prosecutors will apply to keep him in custody.
Meanwhile, the Crown Prosecution Service is working on a request to have him extradited to Britain to face justice over Ms Brown’s death.
The CPS said prosecutors were “consulting with the authorities in Georgia to progress our extradition request”.
Georgia’s interior ministry spokesman Sopho Mdinaradze said Shepherd “will be without any doubt extradited to Britain”, pending legal procedures.
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.
He added that Shepherd can be detained for up to nine months before extradition under Georgian law.
Sky’s crime correspondent Martin Brunt, who is in Tbilisi, said it would probably take weeks for Shepherd to be extradited – even if he agreed to it.
“If the paperwork is not in the right wording, if there’s any issue, then that could be an escape route for him,” he said.
Details have emerged about the life lived by Shepherd during his time in Tbilisi.
Local television journalist Nino Vardzelashvili interviewed the web designer before he handed himself in to police and said: “He lived openly in a rented apartment in downtown Tbilisi, made local friends and even speaks some Georgian.
“He had no job and spent his time in Georgia travelling across the country, frequently going to nightclubs and attending social events.”
Mdinaradze said Shepherd, 31, had arrived in Tbilisi in March from Istanbul and had contacted her channel Rustavi-2 shortly before handing himself in to police earlier this week.
In his television interview, Shepherd had said Ms Brown’s death was an accident and he was not at fault because she had been driving the boat at the time.
He defended his decision to go into hiding, adding: “I hope that the justice will be done and my appeal will succeed, and I can… everyone can move forward with their lives.”
(c) Sky News 2019: Speedboat killer Jack Shepherd to appear in court