Speedboat killer Jack Shepherd to spend 10 YEARS behind bars after being jailed for another four for bottling barman
COWARD speedboat killer Jack Shepherd today wept as he was jailed for a total of ten years after finally admitting to attacking a barman with a bottle before going on the run over the death of a woman in a crash on the River Thames.
The 31-year-old smashed a bottle of vodka over the former soldier just before fleeing the country to avoid justice for Charlotte Brown's death in 2015 – with the law finally catching up with the web designer today.
Shepherd bowed his head and wept as he was told he must serve four years for "unlawfully and maliciously" smashing ex-soldier David Beech in the face with a vodka bottle.
The sentence for the attack is on top of the six years Shepherd is already serving for the manslaughter of Charlotte Brown.
The 24-year-old woman had been killed when she was flung into the water from his speedboat when it crashed on the Thames in 2015 – with Shepherd fleeing the country to avoid the trial after attacking Beech in March 16 in 2018.
Appearing before Exeter Crown Court via videolink this morning, Shepherd was blasted for his "cowardly course of action" for trying to escape justice.
But killer Shepherd insisted he was "not a violent person" – claiming he had been under strain at the time of the attack due to his "grief and guilt" at Charlotte's death and the collapse of his marriage.
A VIOLENT COWARD
The court heard Shepherd had been drinking with an old school friend at the White Hart Hotel in Mortonhampstead when he was asked to leave by Mr Beech, who had noticed he was drunk.
But after being asked to leave, Shepherd then became "confrontational" – asking "why are the heavies kicking us out".
As the Afghan vet turned, the drunk web designer then grabbed a bottle of vodka, using both hands to smash it down onto his forehead.
Other guests rushed to help Mr Beech, who said it felt like he had been "smashed in the head with a baseball bat", as two men including an off duty cop grappled with Shepherd who continued to swing the bottle.
The court heard that Mr Beech had served in the Army in Afghanistan where in 2014 he was shot in the head.
Mr Beech suffers with PTSD and was having rehab and was working in the hotel as part of his recovery.
I totally regret that cowardly and grave error
He said in a statement that the attack had made him suffer flashbacks and memory loss as well as affecting his relationship with his partner.
Mr Stephen Vullo, QC, defending Shepherd, said he had been a successful IT consultant working for Apple on £150,000 a year and living on a houseboat on the Thames at the time of the attack.
He read a statement from self-pitying Shepherd, who admitted he could not remember the attack, in which he "apologised unreservedly" to Mr Beech for the "unprovoked" attack.
Shepherd said seeing the CCTV made him feel "physically sick" and maintained "I am not a violent person".
He added he had "snapped under the strain" of the trial, saying: "I totally regret that cowardly and grave error.
"I faced the choice of suicide or fleeing and I chose fleeing.
"All I desire is to atone for what I have done."
Judge David Evans told Shepherd: "I accept your remorse is genuine" but added that his flight abroad was "cowardly course of action".
Shepherd was found guilty of Charlotte Brown's manslaughter in his absence during a trial in March last year.
After spending ten months on the run, he finally handed himself into Georgian authorities in January this year – still insisting he was innocent.
Smirking as he surrendered, he insisted it was a "tragic accident".
Shepherd, who claimed he was an alcoholic, also whined in court he was the victim, telling the Georgian court: "Not a single day passes when I don’t think about the passing of Charlotte’s life and the effect on her family.
"I wish I’d sat down with Charlotte’s family to explain."
He added: "I know it’s caused them even more suffering and that’s why I handed myself in to draw to a close this horrible accident and the terrible consequences."
Shepherd, from Exeter, Devon, also claimed he was living in fear after receiving death threats.
He was finally extradited back to the UK earlier this year, where he was sentenced to six years in prison for Charlotte's death, along with six months for fleeing the country.
Charlotte, from Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, had been found in the water unconscious after the pair's Tinder date.
The court had previously heard that the boat had a number of defects, including faulty steering, at the time of the fatal crash.
It was reported he had bought the boat to “pull women”.
Shepherd’s UK case sparked outrage when The Sun revealed he won taxpayer-funded legal aid to appeal his conviction while on the run.
Charlotte's family have previously slammed Shepherd, with her mum Roz saying: "It’s time that he shows remorse and stops lying. He’s convinced himself that he’s the victim.
“It shows his incredible arrogance and lack of respect or empathy for anyone else. It’s like he has forgotten what’s right and wrong. His moral compass isn’t there.”
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