A young man accused of killing his date in a crash on the Thames told police he only bought a speedboat to "pull women", a court heard.

Web designer Jack Shepherd was tearful as he was interviewed as a witness within hours of being plucked from the river by rescuers.

On the evening of December 8, 2015, Shepherd said he had been trying to impress Charlotte Brown, 23, with a trip past the Houses of Parliament after a meal at the Shard.

But after he handed Miss Brown, from Clacton, the wheel on their return journey, the boat hit a log and capsized, sending them into the cold water.

Shepherd, 30, who is originally from Exeter, is on trial in his absence at the Old Bailey charged with manslaughter by gross negligence, which he denies.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Accused - Jack Shepherd (Picture PA)

During the interview, Shepherd said he had invited ten girlfriends back to his houseboat in Hammersmith in the year he had lived there.

Of those, the majority of them had been out in his speedboat which is moored beside it.

An interviewing officer asked: "Don't get me wrong, is that part of your evenings events, shall we say?"

Shepherd replied: "Yeah, I mean I got it with the intention of you know trying to pull women with it, basically."

The officer asked: "Impress them, yeah?"

The defendant replied: "Yeah, that's the idea."

He told officers at Wandsworth Police Station that he had bought the speedboat on Gumtree.

He met Ms Brown through website OkCupid and arranged to meet for a first date at the Shard skyscraper at London Bridge.

Shepherd said he paid for their £150 meal in Oblix restaurant and they had drunk quite a lot of wine before they took a taxi back to Hammersmith.

He told police: "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'."

He added: "I was just trying to show off about having a speedboat like I thought it would impress her."

Shepherd became emotional as he told how they went to the Houses of Parliament and on the return journey, Ms Brown became quite "insistent" that she have a go at driving.

He said: "So I got to a stretch I considered to be safe because it was quite straight and long so we swapped over. My memory is quite hazy about the whole thing because we drank heavily.

"The last thing I remember is just hanging on to the boat. It was upside down at this point. I didn't know where Charli was."

He went on: "I had no idea what happened. I was hanging on and tried to go underneath the boat to see if she was there and got trapped.

"I was feeling with my legs to see if she was there. I don't think she was there but I didn't know. I just started shouting for help, 'please help, please help'.

"I just repeatedly called that as loud as I could at them. I don't remember what they were saying and I remember I tried to direct them, like, to make them aware of me but also make them aware that there was someone else who I thought was probably further down the river because the boat was still kind of moving, you know, with the tide."

Asked about Ms Brown's driving, he said: "The only thing I remember from her driving is just hanging on. I don't remember feeling like afraid but it was more just exciting I suppose."

On what speed she was going, he said: "Probably full throttle and, you know, maybe steering slightly erratically."

The court has heard that neither Shepherd nor Ms Brown were wearing life jackets.

Shepherd ended his interview saying: "I regret profusely what happened."

Jurors were shown video of the interview and given a transcript of what Shepherd told police.