A speedboat owner who killed his date in a crash on the River Thames has been granted the right to appeal his conviction, despite going on the run.
Jack Shepherd, 31, remains at large despite being found guilty of killing Charlotte Brown, 24, in a champagne-fuelled speedboat disaster in 2015.
He fled the country before he was convicted of manslaughter in his absence in July, later filing an appeal against his conviction from a secret hideout.
Despite being on the run for six months, appeal court judges have sensationally ruled that Shepherd should be granted leave to appeal his guilty verdict.
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Jack Shepherd (left) remains at large despite being found guilty of killing Charlotte Brown (right) in a champagne-fuelled speedboat disaster in 2015
Reacting to the news last night, Ms Brown’s father Graham told The Sun: ‘We thought this absurd appeal would be thrown out immediately.
‘But apparently the judicial system thinks it’s fair someone on the run can launch an appeal.
‘To do that, Shepherd must be in contact with his lawyers. It’s disgusting.’
Web designer Shepherd had been trying to impress Ms Brown after meeting her on dating website OkCupid.
Shepherd had been trying to impress Ms Brown (pictured) after meeting her on a dating site
But the first date ended in tragedy when his boat flipped near Wandsworth Bridge when it hit a submerged log after Shepherd encouraged her to take the wheel.
They were both thrown into the cold water and Ms Brown died after she was pulled from the river unconscious and unresponsive.
Shepherd, of Exeter, was found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence in his absence over the incident in December 2015 after failing to attend his trial.
Judge Richard Marks QC sentenced Shepherd to six years’ imprisonment in his absence and said he had a ‘totally cavalier attitude to safety’.
Police have been unable to track him down after he skipped bail, and he was not in court to face sentence in July despite pleas from his victim’s family.
The court had heard how Shepherd bought the 14ft Fletcher Arrowflyte GTO from Gumtree to ‘pull women’.
In the months before Ms Brown’s death, Shepherd had entertained up to 10 women on the 1980s model, having invited them back to his houseboat in Hammersmith.
During that time, he had been caught speeding by marine police more than once and advised on the importance of wearing life jackets.
On December 8, 2015, Shepherd treated Ms Brown to a £150 meal at Oblix in the Shard, where they drank two bottles of wine.
In the months before Ms Brown’s death, Shepherd had entertained up to 10 women on the 14ft Fletcher Arrowflyte GTO (shown), having invited them back to his houseboat in Hammersmith
The couple took a taxi back to Shepherd’s place where they took champagne aboard the speedboat for a trip past the Houses of Parliament.
In mobile phone footage, Ms Brown could be heard shouting that they were going ‘so fast’ as Shepherd drove at more than double the 12 knot speed limit.
On the return journey, Shepherd handed over the controls to business development consultant Ms Brown who followed suit and went ‘full throttle’.
The speeding boat hit a submerged log and tipped over near Wandsworth Bridge, sending both occupants into the water.
Shepherd was found clinging to the hull and Ms Brown was pulled from the water unconscious and unresponsive.
Paramedics battled in vain to save her as she was already in cardiac arrest and suffering from hypothermia.