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Charlotte Brown: Father urges daughter’s killer Jack Shepherd to reveal ‘truth’ about speedboat death ahead of prison release | UK News

A grieving father has pleaded with his daughter’s killer to reveal the truth about her speedboat death on the eve of his prison release.

Graham Brown has never believed Jack Shepherd‘s story that his daughter Charlotte had taken the controls of the vessel shortly before it crashed.

Mr Brown, 60, told Sky News: “Shepherd has never said what really happened that night. And what he has said conflicts with what we know did happen and what came out in the trial.

Jack Shepherd is due to appear in court on Monday
Jack Shepherd

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June 2019: ‘He has shown no remorse’

“The pure fact that he took my daughter out on a dodgy speedboat at 10 o’clock at night, without lifejackets, on a very dangerous stretch of the River Thames and accelerated up to 30 knots, and then to turn around and say, it was her fault…”

Shepherd, 35, is expected to be freed automatically from jail next month after completing half of his 10-year sentence for Charlotte’s manslaughter and a separate, unrelated assault in a pub.

He has said in the past he did not believe he bore responsibility for Charlotte’s death in December 2015, claiming it was “ultimately her action” that caused the tragedy.

Mr Brown said: “My daughter would not have been driving that boat. In my own mind, I’m fairly confident that she thought it was just going to meander, turn around, and go back.

“She would have had no idea what he was going to do. She would have been absolutely terrified.”

Charlotte, 24, had met Shepherd on a dating app and he had wined and dined her at a Shard restaurant near London Bridge before taking her for a late-night ride along the Thames on his defective speedboat in December 2015.

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January 2019: Shepherd – I was shouting ‘help her’

It was their first date.

The speeding boat hit a submerged tree, overturned and flung them both into the water.

They were rescued, but Charlotte was unconscious and later died, while Shepherd survived.

Shepherd, a serial womaniser who had given rides to other women, told police they had drunk champagne and Charlotte had taken over the controls just before the collision near Wandsworth Bridge.

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Graham Brown in 2019: ‘He won’t accept responsibility’

After being charged with manslaughter by gross negligence, Shepherd fled the UK for Georgia, the former soviet state, but was sentenced in his absence to six years in jail.

He gave himself up to authorities in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, in January 2019 and was extradited and jailed at the Old Bailey in April that year for another four years for an attack on a pub barman in Devon.

File photo dated 20/07/2018 of the family of Charlotte Brown (left to right) father Graham Brown, sister Katie and mother Roz Wicken. Web developer Jack Shepherd has been found guilty of killing her in a speedboat accident on the Thames. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday July 26, 2018. Jack Shepherd had been trying to impress 24-year-old Charlotte Brown after meeting her on dating website OkCupid. But their champagne-fuelled first date ended in tragedy when his boat capsized and she
The family of Charlotte Brown at court. File pic

Mr Brown, the father of three daughters, said he had no wish to speak to Shepherd on his release, but hoped he would offer a full explanation for what happened on the night Charlotte died.

He said: “I wish he would just be able to tell the truth and state clearly what happened. I feel that he will never do that.”

Ex-deputy head at school formerly attended by Prince George and Princess Charlotte jailed for sex offences | UK News

A ‘master manipulator’ previously employed as deputy head at the private day school once attended by Prince George and Princess Charlotte has been jailed for 12 years after admitting child sex offences.

Matthew Smith, 35, began working at Thomas’s Battersea, where he was also head of pastoral care, in September last year but was sacked two months later after he was arrested by the National Crime Agency (NCA).

George started at the school in 2017 and Charlotte in 2019 but both had left by the time Smith joined and there is no suggestion any of his offending related to Thomas’s or its pupils.

Smith, from East Dulwich, southeast London, pleaded guilty to 22 offences, including encouraging the rape of a child under 13, causing a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, and arranging the sexual abuse of a child.

Investigators found he was sharing abuse material on the dark web and had paid teenagers in India £65,000 to abuse younger children in India over a five-year period.

Smith was living in Nepal, where he worked at a school for most of that time but had previously worked in orphanages and for NGOs across India between 2007 and 2014.

Matthew Smith was head of pastoral care at Thomas's, Battersea
Matthew Smith was head of pastoral care at Thomas’s Battersea

He moved back to the UK in July 2022 and that summer posted an advert online looking for a flat share in which he said he was a primary school teacher and could help with childcare.

But he was arrested before he was taken up on the offer and the NCA said there is no evidence he committed offences against children in the UK or in Nepal.

Smith was jailed for 12 years at Southwark Crown Court on Wednesday and put on the sex offenders register for life.

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Helen Dore, Senior Officer of the National Crime Agency, said: “Matthew Smith is a prolific offender and master manipulator, who coerced young men into abusing children on his behalf.

“He constantly sought out opportunities to gain access to children, but was adept at hiding his sexual interest in them. He conducted his offending while working as a teacher and head of pastoral care – a deep betrayal of the trust placed in him.

“It’s clear Smith has absolutely no empathy for his victims and the harm he has caused them. He presents a very real and significant risk to children, but this investigation has ensured he will spend a long time in prison.

“The NCA is committed to operating online and overseas, working with global partners to ensure that children are safeguarded and offenders like Smith are brought to justice.”

A spokesperson for the school said: “We have been shocked and appalled beyond measure by this matter and are grateful for the work of the police and courts in bringing this man to account.

“Mr Smith’s employment at the school, which commenced in September 2022, was terminated with immediate effect when the school first learned of the charges against him in November.

“While the National Crime Agency has confirmed that none of the matters under investigation related to the school or its pupils, these deplorable actions constitute an unforgivable breach of trust and our thoughts are with those who have been impacted or damaged by them.

“As always, we remain absolutely committed to the ongoing safety and wellbeing of our pupils and our whole school community.”

Queen’s death: Prince George and Princess Charlotte will attend state funeral | UK News

Prince George and Princess Charlotte will attend the Queen’s state funeral, according to the order of service.

The two eldest children of the Prince and Princess of Wales will be among 2,000 people gathering in Westminster Abbey to say farewell to the monarch they knew as “Gan Gan”.

The second and third in line to the throne will walk in procession behind the Queen’s coffin as it is carried by the military bearer party.

Last chance to view Queen’s coffin; funeral to be shown on big screens across UK – all latest news, live

Their grandfather King Charles with the Queen Consort will be immediately behind the coffin, followed by the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, then the Duke of York, followed by the Earl and Countess of Wessex, and then the Prince and Princess of Wales.

Nine-year-old George and seven-year-old Charlotte will walk side-by-side behind their parents, followed by their uncle and aunt the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and other members of the Royal Family.

They are also expected to be at the committal service in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, later in the day.

Their four-year-old brother Prince Louis, however, is not expected to attend.

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Details of the service have been revealed, including the music, which will include the Queen’s Piper, Warrant Officer Class 1 (Pipe Major) Paul Burns, playing the traditional lament Sleep, Dearie, Sleep.

Before the service, the tenor bell will be tolled every minute for 96 minutes, reflecting the years of the Queen’s life.

One of the hymns – The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want – was sung at the Queen’s wedding, when she married the Duke of Edinburgh in the same abbey in 1947.

The others hymns are: The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Is Ended; and Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.

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Prayers will be said by the Reverend Dr Iain Greenshields, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, for “Queen Elizabeth’s long life and reign, recalling with gratitude her gifts of wisdom, diligence, and service”.

The Bishop of London Dame Sarah Mullally will say a prayer for “our most gracious Sovereign Lord King Charles, Camilla the Queen Consort, William Prince of Wales, and all the Royal Family”.