NEWS
30/08/2018 12:02 BST | Updated 30/08/2018 15:03 BST

On-The-Run Web Developer Appeals Sentence For Killing Woman In Speedboat Crash

Charlotte Brown was killed on the couple's first date.

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Jack Shepherd is on the run but has appealed his sentence 

A web designer convicted of killing his date in a speedboat crash on the Thames has launched an appeal – despite being on the run.

Jack Shepherd, 30, has been in hiding since he was found guilty of the manslaughter by gross negligence of 24-year-old Charlotte Brown.

Shepherd failed to attend his July trial and was sentenced to six years in jail in his absence at the Old Bailey, having skipped bail.

An arrest warrant was issued, while Brown’s family called for him to face justice and The Sun newspaper put up a £10,000 reward.

On Thursday, a Court of Appeal official confirmed Shepherd’s lawyers had lodged an appeal against his conviction and sentence.

Scotland Yard confirmed the missing defendant is “still outstanding”.

On whether Shepherd had fled the country, a spokesman said: “We are pursuing a number of lines of inquiry.”

Brown died in December 2015 after being thrown from Shepherd’s speeding boat into the Thames, during a champagne-fuelled late night ride past the Houses of Parliament.

The court heard Shepherd had met Brown on a dating website and had been trying to impress her at the end of their first date.

PA Wire/PA Images
Charlotte Brown died after a speedboat crash on their first date 

After handing her the controls, the boat hit a submerged log and capsized, sending Brown into the cold water.

Shepherd was rescued, having been found clinging to the upturned hull, while his date was recovered unconscious.

Prosecutor Aftab Jafferjee QC told jurors it was “sheer madness” to take the boat out that night.

Jurors heard that life jackets had been tucked away, the kill cord was not connected, and the boat had a number of defects, including faulty steering.

The defendant, who lived on a houseboat in Hammersmith and is originally from Exeter, had denied manslaughter.

He had informed his lawyers before the trial he did not plan to attend but continued to be in contact with them throughout.

At his sentencing, Shepherd’s lawyer Stephen Vullo QC said his client could not face the Brown family in the dock and his decision not to come was “cowardice”.