The lawyer representing convicted killer Jack Shepherd has reportedly received death threats and abuse, including a threat to firebomb his office.
Richard Egan, senior partner at criminal defence lawyers Tuckers Solicitors, is representing Jack Shepherd, who handed himself in to police in Georgia last week after being sentenced to six years in prison for the manslaughter of Charlotte Brown, who died when his speedboat capsized on the River Thames in December 2015.
Mr Egan said among other abuse he had received a letter – now handed to the police – which reads: “Remember Jo Cox? You have been followed – nice house! Now, accidents happen, people get stabbed in London, pets get poisoned, children run over. Be warned (EDF) we will petrol bomb your nice office.”
He told the BBC: “It threatens my family. It suggests that I have been followed and that the writer knows where I live and where I work. There is a specific threat to firebomb my firm, endangering the lives of my colleagues.”
Lord chancellor David Gauke condemned such threats, tweeting: “Very concerned about death threats made against Jack Shepherd’s lawyer. Such behaviour is completely unacceptable.’
He later said in a longer statement: “I am deeply concerned to hear of the threats made against the lawyers representing Jack Shepherd.
Very concerned about death threats made against Jack Shepherd’s lawyer. Such behaviour is completely unacceptable.
— David Gauke (@DavidGauke) January 29, 2019
“Criminal defence advocates play a vital role in upholding the rule of law and ensuring everyone has the opportunity to defend their rights.
“Whatever your views about this particular case, such intimidating and threatening behaviour is completely unacceptable in a civilised society.”
A Scotland Yard spokesman told The Times that police have received an allegation of malicious communication from Tuckers Solicitors and are investigating.
Shepherd appeared in court in Tbilisi on Tuesday, where a judge ruled he will not face a fast-tracked extradition.
Earlier this month Tuckers released a statement on its website saying it is ‘duty bound’ to continue to represent Shepherd after it emerged that the convicted killer would receive legal aid for an appeal against his conviction and sentence, despite his continued absence.