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Javid ‘underlines personal commitment’ to finding speedboat killer

Jack Shepherd Photo: Metropolitan Police/PA

The family of a woman killed in a speedboat crash said Home Secretary Sajid Javid has “underlined his personal commitment” to finding her fugitive killer.

On Tuesday, Mr Javid met the family of Charlotte Brown – who died aged 24 after a boat belonging to Jack Shepherd flipped into the wintry waters of the River Thames during a champagne-fuelled first date in December 2015 – to discuss the operation to catch him.

Shepherd, 31, has been on the run since he vanished before his Old Bailey trial last summer, during which he was sentenced in his absence to six years in prison for manslaughter by gross negligence.

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Speaking outside Parliament, Ms Brown’s father Graham Brown said: “The Home Secretary has underlined his personal commitment to see that the current manhunt is given the necessary resources and priority required.

“Our message is clear – there can be no hiding place for Jack Shepherd.

“No one should give support, assistance or encouragement to him other than to do what he should have done in the first instance, which is to hand himself in.”

Charlotte Brown Credit: Metropolitan Police/PA

He added: “Jack Shepherd was able to abscond whilst on unconditional bail.

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

Ms Brown’s mother Roz Wickens and sister Katie also attended the meeting.

The police have assured the family that “everything which can be done is being done”, Mr Brown said, adding: “They are following a number of leads.”

Sajid Javid Credit: Kirsty O’Connor/PA

The meeting with the Home Secretary was arranged by his Cabinet colleague, Communties Secretary James Brokenshire, who is the family’s local MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup.

Mr Brown added: “The intervention of the Home Secretary, with the aid of our MP, has been most welcome by the family.

“We are grateful that the Home Secretary has got involved in this manner.”

Uncorroborated theories have put web designer Shepherd in locations including Turkey, Thailand and Georgia.

Mr Brown described his daughter as a “beautiful soul”, adding: “We miss Charlotte every day.

“The lapse of time does not temper the rawness and the pain of our loss.”

Mr Javid said:  “Charlotte’s family are understandably heartbroken and distraught following this awful tragedy. I have taken a personal interest in this case and am determined to ensure Jack Shepherd faces justice.

“I told the family we will strain every sinew and explore every option to bring them the justice they deserve as soon as possible.

“The Metropolitan Police and National Crime Agency are doing all they can to track down Mr Shepherd. If anyone is aware of his whereabouts they should report it immediately.

“What is clear is that Charlotte’s family have suffered enough. That is why I am repeating my plea for Mr Shepherd to give himself up.”