Speedboat killer Jack Shepherd could be flown back to Britain within days after telling pals he is finally ready to be extradited.
The fugitive went on the run a year ago before he was convicted of killing his internet date, 24-year-old Charlotte Brown, on a boozy late-night thrill ride along the Thames.
Web designer Shepherd, 31, had been determined to stay at Gldani No 8 jail in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, where he has spent the past two months since surrendering to police.
But after a dramatic U-turn the married womaniser now wants to see out his six-year term back home.
Sources said Shepherd is expected to formally accept extradition at a hearing set to go ahead this week.
The development will be welcomed by Charlotte’s family, who have criticised him for evading justice.
Unless there are legal complications, Shepherd could be put on a plane back to the UK within the next two weeks – to be handed over to British police at the border.
He had previously refused extradition from the former Soviet country, claiming his life would be in danger.
But he changed his mind after realising time served in jail there will not count towards time he will serve here.
A source told the Sunday Mirror: “Jack feels that as long as he gets assurances he needs over his safety, it’s now time to come back home.
“He knows at the moment he’s just delaying the inevitable – and lengthening his sentence by staying.”
Shepherd fled to Georgia on March 21 last year.
He moved into a £168-a-month flat on the top floor of a five-storey block, setting up as a freelance web designer in the poor Saburtalo quarter.
He had gone on the run to dodge justice after Charlotte drowned after his speedboat crashed on their first date in December 2015.
After fleeing, Shepherd was jailed in his absence for six years for manslaughter by gross negligence.
Just two months after Charlotte’s death he wed his long-term girlfriend.
He then spent 10 months living a relatively normal life, using the name Jack Grant – and boasted to new pals about dating a Georgian girl.
He finally gave himself up to police in Georgia on January 23 this year, fearing he would be “seized like an animal” after becoming the focus of a high-profile wanted campaign.
A Georgian judge ruled he should stay in jail for three months before another extradition hearing in April.
British prosecutors lodged a formal request this month to have him returned. However, there had been claims he could stay in the country for at least nine months and “perhaps indefinitely”.
In letters and voice messages sent from jail, Shepherd – who was visited by his mum and sister – has desperately tried to dodge suggestions of guilt over Charlotte’s death.
He has even claimed he wants to meet Charlotte’s mum Roz Wickens to convince her he was not at fault for the crash.
He claims Charlotte was driving when it happened.
He has also criticised a key witness who claims she saw him acting suspiciously on the night Charlotte died, accusing her of being “incorrect in her recollection”.
In January Charlotte’s sister Katie said her family felt angry at Shepherd’s claims and were “shocked” to see him “just stroll into the police station smiling and waving”.
Katie added: “It was unbelievable arrogance. While he’s been off in Georgia, he claims he went to see friends and always wanted to see the scenery there – almost like he was claiming it was a holiday.
“He’s not thinking about Charlotte, us, respect for the legal system… all he is thinking about is himself and his feelings.”
Shepherd met his victim on the dating website OkCupid.
He spent £150 on wine and food at a flash restaurant in London’s tallest building, The Shard, before the two of them took to the water.
The pair were thrown from the boat when it hit branches in the river near Wandsworth Bridge.
Shepherd was found clinging to the hull and Charlotte, from Clacton, Essex, was pulled from the water unconscious and unresponsive. She died from cold water immersion.
Shepherd’s lawyer Mariam Kublashvili told the Sunday Mirror: “I’d request all media not to be unfair, every one of us can find ourselves in the same unlucky situation.
“This is not a crime, and doesn’t deserve the same punishment.”
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