Sunday 26 May 2019

'I felt suicidal,' says speedboat killer being held in Georgian jail

Depressed’: Briton Jack Shepherd in a courtroom in Tbilisi, Georgia. Photo: AP
Depressed’: Briton Jack Shepherd in a courtroom in Tbilisi, Georgia. Photo: AP

Izzy Lyons

Jack Shepherd, the speedboat killer, will be preliminary detained in a Georgian prison for three months as he told a court he has been having suicidal thoughts.

Appearing in Tbilisi City Court, Shepherd - dressed in a blue jacket and light blue shirt - smiled at his lawyers as he was brought into court by police officers.

Speaking for the first time from an enclosed wooden dock in a small courtroom overwhelmed with international media attention, Shepherd said he has felt suicidal since the boat accident that killed Charlotte Brown.

"Not a day goes by when I don't think of the loss of Charlotte's life and the affect it has had on her family," he said.

"Sometime after the accident, I felt depressed and suicidal at what had happened. That why I have not been able to speak about it and I regret not taking part in the trial," he added.

"I wish I had sat down with Charlotte's family and explained.

"I can see that not doing that has caused them great pain and suffering."

His lawyer Tariel Kakabadze said that Shepherd wants to remain in a Georgian jail as his defence team believes there is not sufficient evidence to extradite him and that he will be safer there than in a UK prison.

Mr Kakabadze said that he had received a threatening call saying he would face "dark days in a British jail" and that international law states an individual cannot be extradited from one country to another if there is a risk to their life.

"Who will take responsibility if something bad happens to him?" his lawyer Marianne Kublashvili asked the court.

Explaining his decision to flee the UK before his trial concluded, Ms Kublashvili said he was "demonised by the media".

"When he ran, he thought he could not win his case because everyone was against him," she added.

Judge Roman Khorava started the hearing by reading out Shepherd's human rights under Georgian law.

This included a right to medical care and to talk to his family.

Irish Independent

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