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.
Appearing before Exeter Crown Court via videolink, he was this morning sentenced to four years behind bars for “unlawfully and maliciously” wounding ex-soldier David Beech on March 16 in 2018.
The court heard Shepherd, who was on bail at the time, had been asked to leave the White Hart Hotel in Mortonhampstead when he hit Beech, who had served in Afghanistan, square in the face with a bottle.
As Shepherd bowed his head and wept, he was told he must serve the four year sentence consecutively to the six years he was given for the manslaughter of his Tinder date 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.
Prosecutor Lee Bremridge said Shepherd and an old school friend had met up for lunch during a visit to see his mother and sister at Moretonhampstead in Devon last March when the confrontation with the barman unfolded.
Mr Beech saw the pair were drunk and asked them to leave, with Shepherd then becoming “confrontational” and asking “why are the heavies kicking us out”.
When Mr Beech turned around, Shepherd grabbed a bottle of vodka tucked in his back pocked, and holding it with both hands around the neck of the bottle, he smashed it into Mr Beech’s forehead leaving a wound that had to be stitched and glued in hospital.
Mr Beech said he felt as though he had been “smashed in the head with a baseball bat” and left him battered on the ground as others guests including off duty policemen Lewis Simmonds and Mr Stapley grappled Shepherd to the floor as he still tried to swing the bottle at his captors.
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.
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: “No one, not least himself, can have predicted the nature and degree of his self destruction which has brought him to this point.”
He said Shepherd was a successful IT consultant working for Apple on £150,000 a year and living on a houseboat on the Thames.
He read a statement from Shepherd 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”.
His self pitying message went on that he was under strain over his “grief and guilt at Charlotte Brown’s death”.
He also admitted fleeing was “cowardly” and said his choice was “suicide or flight”.
Judge David Evans told Shepherd: “I accept your remorse is genuine” but added that his flight abroad was “cowardly course of action”.
Shepherd fled the country – but 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.
But he was later extradited back to the UK, where he was ultimately 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.”