Speedboat killer Jack Shepherd’s Georgian girlfriend vowed to stand by him during a tearful farewell as he prepares to be extradited to the UK tomorrow.
Maiko Tchanturidze declared she would wait for Shepherd, who faces years behind bars back in Britain.
After an emotional goodbye at his prison in the Georgian capital Tbilisi, the 24-year-old amateur model said she would apply for a visa to visit him in jail in
Shepherd, 31, who is married with a young son, is due to be flown home this evening to face justice.
He will appear at the Old Bailey on Thursday where a judge is expected to order him to belatedly start his six-year sentence for the manslaughter of Charlotte Brown, 24.
The business consultant, from Clacton, Essex, died on her first date with Shepherd in December 2015 when he took her for a drunken ride in his defective speedboat which flipped on the Thames.
Maiko Tchanturidze at a court in Tbilisi last month for an extradition hearing for Jack Shepherd
Speedboat killer Jack Shepherd faces years behind bars in Britain after he was found guilty in his absence last August and handed a six-year jail term
Web designer Shepherd fled to Georgia ahead of his trial last July, and was convicted in his absence.
He caused outrage by launching an appeal – funded by legal aid – from his hideaway and the Daily Mail offered a £25,000 reward in the hunt to find him.
Shepherd started dating Miss Tchanturidze, a former TV journalist, within weeks of his arrival in the former Soviet republic, but neglected to tell her he was a wanted fugitive.
After eight months together, he tearfully confessed to being a convicted killer shortly before handing himself in to police on January 23 but told her the accident was not his fault.
Yesterday she said: ‘I will definitely stand by him. I can’t wait to see him again. Jack is fearful about what will happen, but he is holding it together.
Charlotte Brown who died after a speedboat crash on the Thames in December 2015. She was on a first date with Shepherd
During the Old Bailey trial jurors were told Shepherd’s speedboat was found to have a number of defects
Shepherd started dating Miss Tchanturidze, a former TV journalist, within weeks of his arrival in the former Soviet republic
‘Saying goodbye was an emotional moment. But I know I will see him again. I will come to England to visit him in prison, if I can get a visa.’
Miss Tchanturidze – who took Shepherd to meet her family in Kutaisi, 140 miles west of the capital, last October – has previously said: ‘He is the best person in the world. Everything the media is saying about him is false.’
Today Shepherd’s glamorous Georgian lawyer Mariam Kublashvili also paid him a final visit.
The former model, who starred on Georgia’s version of Strictly Come Dancing, said: ‘I felt like I was going to cry. This may be the last time we’ll see each other.’
No date has yet been set for Shepherd’s appeal, which is based on perceived legal errors made by the judge in relation to his police interview.
He has issued a reluctant apology to Miss Brown’s parents but still blames her, insisting she was driving at the time the speedboat capsized.
Whenever he is free again, he has said he will not return to his wife but wants to secure access to his two-year-old son.