Despite the apology the 31-year-old added that he did not hold sole responsibility for her death, adding: “There were a number of factors that led to the accident — some were my decisions, some were Charlotte’s.
“It was a joint decision to go out on the boat that night, her desire to drive the boat, but it was my decision to permit her to drive. Perhaps I ought to have instructed her further — more so than I did.
“But it was ultimately Charlotte’s action to accelerate in the manner that she did, even though I failed to prevent her. You see, it’s shared [responsibility]. And there are matters of luck or fate — an unseen log in the path of the boat.
“In the end I survived while Charlotte lost her life. These things could have been very different.”
On the night Miss Brown died, Shepherd was pulled from the Thames by emergency services. Police officers said he stank of alcohol, was slurring and unsteady on his feet.
He was interviewed as a witness the following day, when he revealed he had purchased the speedboat to “pull women” and admitted he had taken Miss Brown, from Bexley, south east London, out on the river as part of his seduction routine.