Savid Javid makes 'personal commitment' to ensure speedboat killer is caught

22 January 2019, 19:19 | Updated: 22 January 2019, 20:37

The father of a woman who died in a speedboat crash said the home secretary has made a "personal commitment" to ensure her fugitive killer is arrested.

Graham Brown met with Sajid Javid on Tuesday as the hunt for Jack Shepherd continues six months after he was convicted of manslaughter by gross negligence.

The 31-year-old was sentenced to six years in prison in his absence after he fled before his three-week Old Bailey trial.

Charlotte Brown, who was 24, was killed when Shepherd's speedboat overturned in the River Thames during a date in December 2015.

Police are still hunting the fugitive amid reports he has been sighted in Georgia, Turkey and Thailand.

Charlotte's father was joined by her mother Roz Wickens and sister Katie at the meeting with Mr Javid, which was organised by their local MP James Brokenshire.

Mr Brown said afterwards: "This afternoon we met the Home Secretary Sajid Javid to ensure that all efforts, all steps, are taken to locate Shepherd and see that he finishes his sentence handed down by the courts.

"The home secretary has underlined his personal commitment to ensure Shepherd is arrested, and the current manhunt is given the necessary resources and priority it requires.

"Our message is clear - there can be no hiding place for Jack Shepherd."

He added: "The family will not rest until justice is done and Shepherd is held to account for the loss of our beautiful daughter."

The family had wanted to know what could be done to gain digital forensic evidence from Shepherd's contact with his lawyer, as they believe this could help pinpoint his location.

The fugitive's lawyer Richard Egan has refused to reveal where he is and helped him appeal against his conviction while he was on the run.

Mr Brown added: "The elapse of time has still not tempered the pain and rawness of our loss.

"But nor has it diminished our utter determination to ensure that the man responsible for her death is held to account.

"Jack Shepherd was able to abscond while on unconditional bail.

"The police and other agencies now have a responsibility to do whatever it takes to ensure that justice is served.

"This is important, not just for us, but also so that the public can have confidence in the criminal justice system."