(LONDON) Charlotte Brown Case: The family of a woman who died in a speedboat crash on the River Thames have been speaking about their anger that her killer ‘ Jack Shepherd “ is still on the run and nobody has a clue where he is at present ‘He should be held accountable and the fact that he has never come back to serve a day is unfathomable.’ Is just amazing #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – Jan.11: Jack Shepherd was jailed for six years in 2015: The police have no clue where he is and a report to Interpol has been lodged #AceNewsDesk reports 

Charlotte Sophie Brown

Metropolitan Police

Ms Brown’s father Graham Brown has told The Telegraph he suspects that police “haven’t got a clue” where his daughter’s killer is…………..“They’ve posted him missing on Interpol and that’s about it,” he said………….On Monday, Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman said the case raised “significant public concerns” and called on Shepherd to hand himself in.

Graham BrownGraham Brown previously told the BBC he was “not convinced the authorities are doing everything possible“…………Ms Brown’s family have also spoken about their anguish that Shepherd has been given permission to appeal against the conviction, in spite of his disappearance……………Her sister Katie told the BBC the family were “pretty shocked that it’s been allowed to happen”…………“He’s still on the run, he hasn’t served a day of his sentence and he’s been allowed to still be in communication with his lawyers……………….“He’s been able to appeal using legal aid as well,” she said.
Roz Wickens and Katie Brown said they were “devastated” Jack Shepherd had not faced justice

Shepherd and Ms Brown, who was from Clacton, Essex, met through the dating website OkCupid………….On their first date in December 2015, they dined in London’s Shard skyscraper before the web designer took the 24-year-old out on his speedboat: In mobile phone footage filmed during the date, Ms Brown could be heard shouting that they were going “so fast” as Shepherd drove at more than double the 12-knot speed limit: The speeding boat, which Shepherd told police he had bought “to pull women”, then hit a submerged log and tipped over, flinging them both into the water.

Map

The web designer was found clinging to the hull but Ms Brown was pulled from the water unconscious and unresponsive and died in hospitalIn July, a jury found Shepherd guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence.

He told his lawyers in mid-May he would not be attending his trial at the Old Bailey but the Crown Prosecution Service only found out a week before it began: During the trial, his defence team said they did not know where he was, although his solicitor had maintained telephone contact with Shepherd.

Jack Shepherd in 2017PA: Jack Shepherd attending a hearing at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court in 2017Speedboat killer Jack Shepherd took out 10 loans worth £50,000 BEFORE going on the run over death of his date https://t.co/B6qwdQapHQ January 08, 2019 at 10:37PM 

Following his conviction, police said they believed Shepherd might have fled abroad but they have said they have “no tangible trace” of him. The last confirmed sighting of him was in March 2018 in Devon, police said: “There have been a number of rumours that he is being harboured abroad by friends but we have no evidence this is the case,” Det Ch Insp Mick Norman said on Monday………………The 31-year-old – who police say has a valid passport – has not been using his known bank accounts or mobile phone, although Mr Norman said he “may well be using the accounts of friends or associates to evade arrest and extradition”…………………..“We would appeal to Mr Shepherd’s friends and associates who may be assisting him through a misplaced sense of loyalty to do the right thing and share any information they have with the police,” he said.

Tuckers Solicitors, which is representing Shepherd, said it was “not aware of his whereabouts” In a statement, the law firm said it had been “instructed to represent Mr Shepherd” and would do so “without prejudice and to the best of our ability”.

Jack Shepherd's speedboatMet Police: After the crash Shepherd told police he bought the speedboat “to pull women” ……………..Jack Shepherd was jailed for six years 

Last month, the Court of Appeal confirmed that a judge had given him permission to appeal against the conviction, although permission to appeal against his six-year jail sentence was refused: Tuckers said the appeal would be “based on what the defence believe were legal errors made during the trial” and Shepherd’s continued absence “has no effect on the principle of an appeal, which is purely based on matters of law”…………“Previous case law confirms that an absent defendant still has the right to appeal against legal errors at a trial that took place in his absence,” the firm said.

He was eligible for legal aid for his criminal trial and this is automatically extended to advice about his appeal – regardless of whether he is in custody or on the run: Tuckers have said the fee for representing the 31-year-old amounts to “less than £30,000”.

Jack Shepherd told police he never asked if Charlotte Brown could swim

The prime minister’s official spokesman said Theresa May’s “strongest sympathies are with the family of Charlotte Brown, and Jack Shepherd should give himself up right away to face justice” He said she was aware of the “significant public concerns around this case” which was “why the Ministry of Justice is looking into the issues that it raises”………….Home Secretary Sajid Javid recently sent a letter to the Brown family in which he told them “no-one is above the law”, and that he had “instructed Home Office officials to seek assurances from police”.

A meeting has also been arranged between Mr Javid and Ms Brown’s family on 22 January to discuss the case: James Brokenshire, MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup where some of the family live, has also pledged his support for the Browns………..Mr Brokenshire said he wanted to “ensure that all steps and measures are being taken… to bring Shepherd back to the UK so that he faces the justice he rightly deserves”.

If Shepherd is apprehended in the UK, he will be taken into custody to start serving his six-year sentence: Nevertheless, the appeal against his conviction will still go ahead……….A date for the hearing has yet to be set………..The lawyer defending Jack Shepherd at public expense has built his career on representing those accused of high-profile crimes………..Richard Egan, a senior partner at Tuckers Solicitors, has been praised for successfully defending cases with ‘complex legal issues’………………The solicitor rose to prominence in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks on New York’s Twin Towers in 2001.The US sought the extradition of British resident Lotfi Raissi, claiming he had trained the suicide hijackers……………..Mr Egan, who was a duty solicitor at the time, was given the case at random after Mr Raissi was arrested………….He successfully marshalled a case against extradition and was praised for clearing the name of an innocent man………….Mr Egan then sued for substantial damages. As a result he became the Legal Aid Practitioner Group criminal legal aid lawyer of the year in 2003……………The judges for the award said: ‘In the face of world-wide hostile Press coverage, and facing the might of the US government, Mr Egan dismantled the extradition case against Mr Raissi until the magistrate released him, completely exonerated.’………In 2015, Mr Egan came third in the ‘client-partner’ category of the Lawyer of the Year……….A year earlier, he represented Tania Clarence, then 42, after she was charged with murder for suffocating her three disabled children at her £2million home in south-west London.

She admitted manslaughter, and was detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act: Mr Egan said after the Old Bailey trial that his client’s care for her children had been ‘extraordinary’, but went on: ‘Her story of dedication and love became a story of despair and utter hopelessness.’…………The legal guide Chambers has called him ‘a real heavyweight’ and ‘one of the best lawyers of his generation’.

Among his cases is a military tribunal in Belize in which he got an attempted murder charge against a British soldier thrown out: He also acted for defendants charged in a terror plot in 2006 in which liquid explosives disguised as soft drinks were to have been detonated on transatlantic flights, and for the leading defendant in the London and Glasgow terror attacks in 2007………..Tuckers said it would be ‘negligent’ if it ceased to represent Shepherd because he had absconded.

A spokesman said: ‘We are criminal defence solicitors and have an important role in the criminal justice system to represent those accused of criminal offences: ‘We represent. We do not judge. That duty does not go away because of the perceived morally dubious actions of any particular client – and in the context of a criminal lawyer that would be absurd.’……….Tuckers said it had done 95 per cent of the legal aid work when Shepherd fled.

The spokesman added: ‘The fact that Mr Shepherd absconded was notified to the court, the CPS and police. The court was aware that we would act in his absence. We would be negligent and in breach of our professional duties were we not to proceed because the client had absconded.’………….Shepherd was granted the right to appeal on the basis of European case law, which states fleeing justice is no bar to an appeal. Tuckers said: ‘We are duty bound to proceed with the appeal.’ 

#AceNewsDesk report ……….via MailOnline – BBC News – Telegraph Published: January.11:2018: Additional Reporting Neil Sears for the Daily Mail 

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