A Bad Date

This rather tragic story offers much insight into modern dating:

Shepherd met Charlotte – or Charli, as she was known – for the first time on a December night in 2015. Before that, they’d got to know each other online through the dating website OkCupid.

The 28-year-old web designer took his 24-year-old date to the Oblix restaurant on the 32nd floor of London’s Shard – an unmissable skyscraper with stunning views across the capital.

They ordered two bottles of wine and flatbread. When the £150 bill came, he paid.

Some folk may get the impression this Shepherd chap is a smooth, master seducer but in reality he seems a little desperate. Only an idiot would take someone they’ve never met to one of London’s swankiest restaurants and cough up £150; he’s trying to get money to do what his personality can’t. A first date should be a brief affair somewhere cheap, relatively quiet, and brightly lit offering both parties an early escape if necessary. And any woman being wined and dined in The Shard to the tune of £150 on the first date ought to know she’s being paid for something.

They then went back to his houseboat, 10 miles away in Hammersmith, west London, by taxi, where they drank more alcohol.

This doesn’t sound very sensible either; I can only assume she was looking for a one-night stand, or a fling at the most. That being the case, his taking her to The Shard was rather unnecessary.

During the evening, Shepherd told Charlotte he had a speedboat.

Later, in a police interview, he admitted: “I think I was probably, you know, wanting to sleep with her basically, and so that was probably what I wanted to do and she wanted to go in the boat so I’ve gone ‘OK’.”

A genuine alpha-male, having got a girl back to his houseboat and begun plying her with alcohol, will be mentioning the bedroom, not speedboats. Either he was misreading signals, or dinner at The Shard didn’t do enough to impress her.

The pair headed out on his 1980s, red, 14ft Fletcher Arrowflyte GTO which he’d bought from Gumtree. The court heard the boat was badly maintained.

Witnesses for the prosecution, who examined it after the accident, said it had a number of pre-existing defects, including “poor and sloppy steering” and a “partially opaque” windscreen.

At this point you have to ask what the hell this girl was doing climbing into a speedboat – in any condition – at night with a man she’d just met. Unsurprisingly:

On the night of the accident, Shepherd sped along the Thames towards the Houses of Parliament at 30 knots – well above the 12 knot limit for that part of the river.

It was cold and dark. He’d taken champagne on board, and according to his account, he let Charlotte take over the steering on their way back for a “thrill”.

Prosecutor Aftab Jafferjee QC described that decision as “sheer madness”.

Not long after Charlotte took the controls the boat crashed and capsized by Plantation Wharf.

It’s thought it hit a floating piece of timber or tree.

With tragic results:

Steven Morrissey, who lives in a flat close to Wandsworth Bridge, said in a witness statement he heard Shepherd calling out.

“He just kept saying, ‘Help me, help me, somebody help me.’ It was just ‘help me’ – not ‘us’, or ‘her’.”

Is anyone surprised by that? Maybe Ted Kennedy was his role model?

Shepherd was found clinging to the upturned hull of the boat near the bridge at about 23:40. Charlotte was found in the water close by just before midnight.

She was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead, with a post-mortem examination later finding she had died from cold water immersion.

When emergency crews spoke to Shepherd after he was pulled from the water they said he appeared extremely confused and drunk. Jurors heard how he asked them where Charlotte was, but he couldn’t remember her name.

Charlotte’s mother, Roz Wickens, said: “There are no words in the universe to describe how wonderful Charlotte was… the best daughter ever, my best friend. We’ll never get over losing her.

Rather than rant about toxic masculinity and virtue-signal with MeToo hashtags, wouldn’t it be good if feminists spent those efforts teaching young women basic common sense, especially in the age of dating apps and a hookup culture? There was a time when young women knew how to take things slowly and avoid idiots like this Shepherd guy, but those skills seem to have gotten lost in the great drive towards equality, modernity, and the emasculation of men. And who were the architects of that, again?

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16 thoughts on “A Bad Date

  1. Having just read the link a couple of things strike me. It takes until the end of the story before it’s actually revealed what he’s been convicted of. It reads like dreary, overlong American “journalism”, rather than a news report.

    Like you, I think the “polished seduction routine” is a bit of a stretch

    He seems rather strange, especially the not turning up to multiple trials!

    Having raid the whole article, manslaughter by gross negligence seems a bit of a stretch to me – especially as she was driving the boat at the time. I can’t imagine he was forcing her to hold the wheel.

  2. How has he committed a crime?

    It was his boat, it was unseaworthy, he was the nominal skipper.

  3. I don’t think you do yourself any favours here Tim, with using this for a criticism of modern feminist behaviour. It’s just an incredibly sad story of drunken & sexually-motivated poor judgement (by both parties), and had it been in a car rather than a boat it would have un-newsworthy at any time in the last hundred years.

    Even Laura Ingalls Wilder was racing around dangerously in the horse-drawn equivalent of an Civic Type R with the bloke who fancied her. I suspect this sort of stuff is innate.

  4. I don’t think you do yourself any favours here Tim, with using this for a criticism of modern feminist behaviour.

    It’s more a criticism of modern dating culture.

    and had it been in a car rather than a boat it would have un-newsworthy at any time in the last hundred years.

    Possibly. Would the two have been complete strangers, though?

  5. We expect people in a car to exercise better judgement because we are familiar with cars.

    But really this seems lame, a car owner might be civily liable but criminal? It just seems a stretcg, she has lost agency and he has become the protagonist.

    This I think is why modern feminism is implicated. The loss of agency and victimhood of the woman, the assumed superiority of the male.

  6. Nah, boats have always been held to different standards under the law. The skipper, even an implied one, has considerably liability.

  7. I’m a Gen Xer divorced who has dated numerous Millennial girls. The issue it seems to me is fundamentally the hook-up aspect. The kids build up no sexual tension – they do not know what that is. They have sex far, far too soon after meeting someone and only afterwards do they get to know the person, if. Most girls do not want this system but feel that is they don’t put out, the boy will go on Tinder and bang a skank, which is correct. Feminism has destroyed the value of women by turning them into nothing but sex objects. The issue is not nearly as one-sided as the embarrassing manosphere/mgtow crap tells us.

  8. Just read this in the ES:

    “Mr Vullo told the court Shepherd got married after the crash and while awaiting trial and now has a two-year-old child. But his marriage has broken down due to his excessive drinking and he struggles to find a job.”

    How?

  9. “A first date should be a brief affair somewhere cheap, relatively quiet, and brightly lit offering both parties an early escape if necessary.”
    “…wouldn’t it be good if feminists spent those efforts teaching young women basic common sense,…:

    These go hand in hand. I think the first actual “date” I had with my wife, I used my pickup to carry a headboard she bought from the store to her place, followed by a short dinner in a cheap Italian place. It was months before I spent that kind of coin on her.

    And what kind of moron lets anyone, let alone a woman, he just met drive anything he owns. When I had a boat, the wife would only pilot it while I was watching. She never rode my motorcycle, and I’ve been married almost 30 years, and don’t much like her driving my truck either.

    And Tim is right. Even in the US, boats have an entirely different set of rules and liabilities.

  10. Not boating law, but:
    US aviation regulations FAR part 91.3
    The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft.I

    this has serious implications in law

  11. In the Western systems, alcohol infantilizes women and empowers men.

    Two equally staggeringly drunk people – one a man, one a woman – can fall into bed together, and Western society holds that the man has taken advantage of the woman.

    A staggeringly drunk woman can pilot a boat, and it’s the fault of the staggeringly drunk man with her for not keeping her from crashing.

    And this all gets more extreme at the same time we are supposed to be considering women to be as empowered and responsible as – equal to – men.

    This is why political correctness is so important. It keeps us from mentioning the contradictions.

  12. While the Master is liable for a vessel and any actions taken on it, regardless of who is actually at the helm, I think that will only come into place when one gets to the size of vessel where roles are formally assigned and registered. Up to that point, I think whoever’s hands are on the controls is liable, as the “responsible person” at that moment.

    Now I very much doubt the ‘defects’ of this particular boat were actually of material significance (both parties being blind drunk and running about flat out in the dark sound like the major causal factors to me), but if they are going to nail his hat on, I’d think that will be the road they need to follow (although I suspect a good enough lawyer would get him off).

    Given he’s vanished out of the country, I’d hazard a guess this particular idiot has decided he’s going down for it, and so done a runner for good…

  13. “Rather than rant about toxic masculinity and virtue-signal with MeToo hashtags, wouldn’t it be good if feminists spent those efforts teaching young women basic common sense, especially in the age of dating apps and a hookup culture? ”

    Common sense is the oppression of the patriarch! The strong soul sisters don’t need no common sense, it’s men who must change!

  14. “A first date should be a brief affair somewhere cheap, relatively quiet, and brightly lit offering both parties an early escape if necessary. ”

    Just on this one, in a recent discussion I had with a pair of ladies at a party, their idea of a first date was wildly different to this. It mostly seemed to revolve around the man flawlessly predicting every desire the pair of them had and fulfilling it prior to nightfall.

    Both were 39 and single.

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