Devon

Speedboat killer Jack Shepherd jailed for bottle attack

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Media captionHow the attack unfolded in March 2018

Speedboat killer Jack Shepherd has been jailed for a further four years for assaulting a barman with a bottle.

The 31-year-old pleaded guilty at Exeter Crown Court to attacking the former soldier in Moretonhampstead, Newton Abbot, Devon, in March 2018.

Shepherd admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm over the attack, which involved a vodka bottle.

He is currently serving six years in prison for the killing of a woman in a speedboat crash on the River Thames.

He returned to the UK in April after going on the run to Georgia to avoid justice over the manslaughter of Charlotte Brown, 24.

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Charlotte Brown died in December 2015 when Shepherd took her on a date on his speedboat

Shepherd, whose address was given as Charles Street, Bristol, appeared before the court via video link.

The attack on David Beech at the White Hart Hotel happened shortly before Shepherd fled the country in March 2018.

The court was shown CCTV footage of Shepherd slamming a vodka bottle into Mr Beech's head after he told Shepherd and a drunken friend to leave.

The barman had served in Afghanistan where he was shot in the head in 2014 and he had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, the court heard.

"Your assault undid in a matter of seconds the good progress he had made over the years," said Judge David Evans, sentencing Shepherd.

Image caption Shepherd slammed a vodka bottle into the barman's head after he told Shepherd and a drunken friend to leave

Mr Beech said being hit by the bottle was "like a blow from a baseball bat".

He had to be taken to hospital and his wound stitched and glued.

Shepherd was restrained at the scene by Mr Beech's colleague James Stapley.

Shepherd told Mr Stapley: "I know I hit your mate and I am going to pay for it."

During the sentencing hearing, Shepherd, wearing a pink shirt, appeared to sob and wipe tears from his face.

Stephen Vullo QC, defending, said: "Up until the end of 2015 his life was going as planned. He was a successful IT consultant earning £150,000 with his own houseboat on the Thames.

"No one, not least himself, can have predicted the nature and degree of his self-destruction that has brought him to this point."

Image caption Shepherd and Charlotte Brown were thrown from the boat

Ms Brown died in December 2015 when Shepherd took her on a date on his speedboat, a trial in July last year heard.

The pair were both thrown from the boat when it hit branches in the water near Wandsworth Bridge.

Ms Brown, from Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, was found in the water unconscious and unresponsive, while Shepherd was discovered clinging to the upturned boat.

His trial was told that he was responsible for the speedboat, which had a series of serious defects, including to its steering.

He was jailed for an extra six months in April for fleeing the country.

The four-year jail sentence for attacking Mr Beech will run consecutively to his current jail terms.

Shepherd has been granted the right to appeal against his conviction for manslaughter.

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