Police have no idea if speedboat killer Shepherd has left country
DETECTIVES have been unable to learn if “speedboat killer” Jack Shepherd ever left the country, Scotland Yard has admitted.
Police have told The Sunday Telegraph they have no way of knowing whether Shepherd absconded abroad because there is no simple method for checking if a Briton leaves the country.
Details of when a person enters and leaves the country are, according to police, not stored on a single database that can be searched by officers in the hunt for a missing person.
Shepherd, 31, remains on the run, having been convicted in his absence of killing Charlotte Brown, 24, after he took her out on his speedboat on the Thames on their first date.
He had been drinking heavily when his speedboat, travelling at twice the legal speed limit, hit a submerged log and capsized.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “We have no idea if he is in the country or not ... we cannot be certain. If there were more officers on the case, we might be able to do something. If this was a counter-terrorism operation, we might be able to do something.
“Normally it is relatively easy because we have a fairly good case of knowing when a person left and where from. But in this case, the time frame is a wide one of many months and that is harder.”
Shepherd went missing in March last year after being arrested for grievous bodily harm over an incident in a pub in his home town in Moretonhamp- stead in Devon. He then failed to show up for the trial in July over the death of Miss Brown but was jailed in his absence for six years for manslaughter by gross negligence. Miss Brown died in December 2015 but it took almost three years for the case to come to court.
Shepherd kept his passport despite being charged with manslaughter and would have been able to leave the country legitimately. But there is no central database to make the simple check.
Police have declined to throw more resources at the manhunt.
Graham Brown, 55, Miss Brown’s father, said: “The fault is with the system. It is not set up to investigate an absconder.”
The Telegraph disclosed last week how Shepherd had obtained £50,000 in cash after taking out loans from banks and internet lenders in the months after Miss Brown’s death and then defaulted on the loans in September 2016.
Jack Shepherd, 31, has been on the run since March when he was found guilty in his absence of manslaughter