Appeal against Bail Act conviction allowed – U.K. fails to comply with speciality protection

The appeal of Jack Shepherd against conviction for a Bail Act offence has been allowed by the Court of Appeal.

Mr. Shepherd was extradited from Georgia to the UK in April 2019, having previously failed to attend his trial for gross negligence manslaughter at the Central Criminal Court in 2018. The manslaughter case was based on the circumstances of a woman’s death during a speedboat journey with Mr. Shepherd on the river Thames in December 2015. Following a trial in absentia, Mr. Shepherd was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to six years’ imprisonment. Mr. Shepherd was later located in Georgia and consented to his extradition in relation to the prison sentence and an unrelated allegation of assault.

Following his surrender, Mr. Shepherd was brought back to the Central Criminal Court where he pleaded guilty to an offence under the Bail Act for failing to attend his trial. Kate was instructed to advise as to whether the provisions of the Extradition Act 2003 had been complied with during proceedings under the Bail Act. It became apparent that the UK had failed to include the Bail Act offence in the extradition request to Georgia and had also failed to obtain Georgia’s consent to prosecute Mr. Shepherd for a Bail Act offence. The appeal was heard together with Mr. Shepherd’s appeal against conviction for gross negligence manslaughter.

On the basis that the UK could not demonstrate that consent had been sought under s.151A(3)(c) of the Extradition Act 2003, the Court of Appeal quashed Mr. Shepherd’s conviction for failure to surrender.

In R v. Jack Shepherd [2019] EWCA Crim 1062 , Kate O’Raghallaigh was instructed by Richard Egan of Tuckers Solicitors and was led by Andrew McGee and Stephen Vullo QC.

Kate is a specialist in criminal defence, extradition and crime-related public law. To see her profile, click here.