London

Speedboat death: Sajid Javid to meet family over missing killer

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Media captionJack Shepherd told police he never asked if Charlotte Brown could swim

Home Secretary Sajid Javid is to meet the family of a woman who died in a speedboat crash on the River Thames, whose killer remains on the run.

In July, Jack Shepherd was jailed for six years for the manslaughter of 24-year-old Charlotte Brown in 2015, but the trial was held in his absence.

Despite being in hiding, Shepherd was able to lodge an appeal in August.

Miss Brown's father Graham wants to know what the authorities are doing to catch him.

Image caption Graham Brown wants to know what is being done to catch his daughter's killer

Mr Brown, from Sidcup, Kent, said the Met Police's serious homicide squad had been "fantastic" in their investigation into his daughter's death but the family was "not convinced the authorities are doing everything possible" to locate Shepherd.

He contacted James Brokenshire, MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup, who helped orchestrate a meeting with the home secretary.

In a letter to Mr Brokenshire, Mr Javid said: "I would like to invite you and Charlotte's family to meet me so that I can offer them my personal assurance of the effort being made across government.

"I hope that this will go some small way towards easing the uncertainty that they must feel in these circumstances."

Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption Charlotte Brown and Shepherd shared two bottles of wine at dinner before the speedboat crash

Mr Brown said: "The fact that Jack Shepherd is not in custody leaves a void, and leaves the family feeling cheated.

"I don't find it credible that nobody knows where he is."

Det Insp Jo Sidaway said Shepherd was believed to be abroad and officers were continuing to work with agencies, including Interpol, to track him down.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption The court heard Shepherd's speedboat had several defects

Miss Brown was on a date with Shepherd when he took her out on the Thames in his speedboat.

His trial heard the defective boat was being driven "at full throttle" when it hit a submerged log or timber and capsized near Wandsworth Bridge.

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