The family of a woman killed when she was thrown from a speedboat while on a date with its owner say they are “appalled” he has had his sentence cut.
Charlotte Brown, 24, died when she fell from Jack Shepherd’s boat into the River Thames in December 2015.
Shepherd, 31, fled the country ahead of his trial at the Old Bailey and was later extradited back to the UK.
On Thursday, the Court of Appeal ruled 78 days he spent in custody in Georgia should count as time served.
“It’s like saying you can stick two fingers up at the judiciary,” Ms Brown’s father Graham said.
“You can abscond [and] it doesn’t really matter, because you know there are no consequences,” he told BBC Essex.
Mr Brown said his family were completely unaware of Shepherd’s appeal and only found out about it when a newspaper reporter contacted them.
“It is a shot out of the blue as we didn’t know an appeal was going ahead,” he said.
“We got no warning. We thought he was serving his sentence and we were getting on with our lives as best we could without Charlotte.
“To suddenly find out about this appeal was a shock.”
In July 2018 Shepherd was convicted of manslaughter by gross negligence and sentenced to six years in his absence.
He handed himself in at the Georgian capital of Tbilisi the following January and was brought back to the UK to start his sentence.
After his extradition, Shepherd was also sentenced to a further six months in jail for breaching bail and also admitted wounding with intent at Exeter Crown Court and was sentenced to four years.
The court heard he had struck a man with a vodka bottle after being asked to leave a pub in Newton Abbot, Devon.
“We faced so many hurdles and barriers to even get it to trial – it was three long years before we got the trial and it doesn’t stop,” said Mr Brown.
“It’s been one big battle against the legal system, that’s how our family feel.”
Shepherd and Ms Brown, from Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, were on a date and had been out drinking when they went on a late-night boat trip on the Thames, his Old Bailey trial was told.
He handed the controls of his boat to Ms Brown moments before it struck a submerged tree and overturned. He was plucked from the water alive, but Ms Brown was found unconscious and unresponsive.
“Charlotte was a beautiful woman, a loving daughter, beautiful sister and it brings it all back up again, it’s just terrible,” said Mr Brown.
“Charlotte has left a massive hole in our lives, we will never truly come to terms with it.”