Speedboat killer Jack Shepherd’s Georgian lover has revealed the convicted killer was ‘crying his eyes out’ when he told her he was wanted over the crash.
Maiko Tchanturidze is understood to have fled the capital Tbilisi after her romantic relationship with Shepherd was exposed by the Daily Mail.
But despite the married fugitive’s actions, his 24-year-old girlfriend is ‘besotted’ and continues to stand by Shepherd – describing him as the ‘best person in the world’.
In hiding: Maiko Tchanturidze is understood to have fled Tbilisi after the Mail exposed their relationship
Besotted: Maiko Tchanturidze, pictured with Jack Shepherd on Mount Kazbegi
‘He is the best person in the world,’ Miss Tchanturidze said. ‘Everything the media is saying about him is false.’
Pictures emerged yesterday of the couple gazing adoringly into each other’s eyes on a mountaintop in Georgia – just weeks after Shepherd had fled Britain last March.
His victim: Charlotte Brown was just 24
The 31-year-old web designer’s relationship with Miss Tchanturidze appears to have become serious enough that they travelled to her family home in Kutaisi, 140 miles west of the capital, in October.
Shepherd had not told police about his relationship with the glamorous TV journalist in a bid to protect her, sources said. She is now likely to face censure over claims that she knew Shepherd was wanted in the UK for the manslaughter of Charlotte Brown.
Last night, a friend told the Mail: ‘She has fled Tbilisi and deleted all her social media accounts. Some of Maiko’s friends and colleagues were unaware of her relationship with Shepherd and she has some explaining to do.
‘Those who did meet him didn’t know he was a wanted man. Maiko has gone to ground because she is scared that it looks like she was harbouring him.’
Shepherd is understood to have told her he was a fugitive, and gave his version of what happened to Miss Brown, 24, whom he blames for her own death.
Sources said Miss Tchanturidze supported Shepherd’s decision to appeal against his six-year prison sentence, but encouraged him to hand himself in after senior UK politicians joined the public outcry over his flight from justice.
Jack Shepherd asked for copy of Kafka’s The Trial about miscarriage of justice to read in jail
Shameless Shepherd has asked for a copy of Franz Kafka’s The Trial to read in jail.
The classic story about a miscarriage of justice centres on a man trapped in a baffling legal nightmare.
Shepherd has requested The Essential Kafka, which includes The Trial, along with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and an album of photographs of his estranged wife and two-year-old son. He is being held in a ‘special unit’ in Gldani Prison Number Eight, known for poor treatment of prisoners.
Videos surfaced online in 2012 of staff beating inmates. Sources said the jail was overrun with drug dealers and murderers but indicated Shepherd ‘will be treated with kid gloves’, adding that guards will ‘look after him’.
Miss Tchanturidze told The Sun: ‘He said he had something to tell me. He seemed upset, his face was red. He was struggling to get his words out, but he said he’d been involved in a boat accident where a girl had died, and that he was wanted by Interpol. He said he was going to hand himself in because he ‘didn’t want to be hunted down like an animal’.
‘I was beyond shocked. He was also crying his eyes out.
‘It was very frightening to hear his story. I had questions, but he answered them all and cleared even tiny doubts I had.’
She said they clicked after he petted her dog in a park, adding: ‘We bumped into each other a few more times. We became close so I introduced him to my sister and friends, and we started going out to bars and restaurants.’
At the time the couple posed gazing into each other’s eyes on Mount Kazbegi, 100 miles north of Tbilisi, the grieving family of Miss Brown, from Clacton, Essex, had no idea that he had skipped bail and fled overseas.
Shepherd was said to be a regular visitor at the apartment Miss Tchanturidze shares with her sister in the affluent district of Saburtalo in Tbilisi.
He married in Britain two months after killing Miss Brown in December 2015. The couple have a child, two, but his wife threw him out after learning he had cheated.
- Shepherd has asked for of Franz Kafka’s The Trial to read in jail. The story about a miscarriage of justice centres on a man trapped in a baffling legal nightmare.
Speedboat killer Jack Shepherd asks victim’s parents to visit him in Georgian jail to ‘explain what happened to their daughter in fatal Thames crash’
From Inderdeep Bains in Georgia for the Daily Mail
Shepherd yesterday said his victim’s parents were welcome to visit him in a Georgian prison.
The convicted killer, who has infuriated Charlotte Brown’s family by blaming her for her own death in a speedboat accident on the Thames, said via his legal team: ‘I wish to speak to you very soon.’
One of his lawyers, former model Mariam Kublashvili, has branded Shepherd ‘a victim of the British justice system’ and vowed he will fight attempts to extradite him back from Georgia to the UK.
Jack Shepherd, pictured in a courtroom in Tbilisi, Georgia, went on the run before his trial and was found guilty in his absence
She said: ‘He wishes to see her mother and father and speak to them as soon as possible. He wants to tell them what happened. He knows he should have spoken to them long ago.
‘He said he was extremely depressed over what happened. He was suicidal when he first came to Georgia.’
Last night there was no response to the invitation from Miss Brown’s mother Roz Wickens, 53, of Clacton, Essex, or her father Graham Brown, 55, of Sidcup, Kent.
One of his lawyers, former model Mariam Kublashvili (pictured), has branded Shepherd ‘a victim of the British justice system’
Miss Wickens had told The Sun on Sunday: ‘I want to look him in the eye and ask him how Charlotte died. He was the last person to see my beautiful daughter so only he can tell the truth about what happened. I want to give him a chance to give an honest account – but I can’t imagine that he will agree to see me. He’s a weasel.
‘It’s time that he shows remorse and stops lying. He’s convinced himself that he’s the victim. It shows his incredible arrogance and lack of respect or empathy for anyone else. His moral compass isn’t there.’
Womaniser Shepherd was convicted of Miss Brown’s manslaughter after trying to impress her by drunkenly speeding up the Thames in his defective boat, which capsized. He went on the run before his trial and was found guilty in his absence.
Shepherd fled to Georgia, but was able to claim legal aid and allowed to communicate with his lawyers from his bolthole.
He was then allowed to appeal against his conviction, funded by taxpayers.