The British man who killed a Vernon woman earlier this year in the United Kingdom has been handed a life sentence with a minimum of 23-and-a-half years in prison.
Jack Sepple was sentenced Monday, Oct. 10, in Chelmsford Crown Court for killing Ashley Wadsworth on Feb. 1, 2022.
Wadsworth was stabbed and strangled by Sepple in an attack in his home. She had moved to England to be with Sepple but, according to Essex Police, two of Wadsworth’s friends received text messages on Feb. 1 saying she needed help and wanted to leave.
The texts asked the friends to come and get her from Sepple’s home, but, later, the friends received messages saying everything was “sorted.”
Concerned for their friend’s safety, the pair went to the Chelmsford address where Ashley was staying. Despite hearing movement within the property, they got no response and decided to call 999.
Officers arrived just minutes later at 4:15 p.m. and forced entry to the property.
After making their way to the bedroom, they found Sepple on his mobile phone alongside Wadsworth’s body.
Hidden behind a radiator in the one-bedroom property, forensic officers recovered a blood-stained knife.
Sepple calmly told officers he had strangled and stabbed Wadsworth, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
The texts saying everything had been “sorted” were discovered by investigators to have been sent after Wadsworth’s death.
On Thanksgiving Monday in Canada, Wadsworth’s family thanked dedicated detectives for securing justice.
“Today, Ashley’s family and friends can know that justice has been served,” said Det. Supt. Scott Egerton, the detective who led the case against the accused.
“Jack Sepple admitted murdering Ashley Wadsworth, their daughter, their sister, their aunt, their friend, and will now serve a life sentence.
“When Ashley came to the UK to be with him, her family could never have imagined the horror they’ve been faced with.
“At just 19, Ashley had a bright future ahead of her. She had dreams and passions she wanted to pursue and these would have been a reality had it not been for Sepple; he took all that away from her.
“I’m proud of the dedication of my investigation team. Their focus and determination meant that the evidence against Jack Sepple was so overwhelming that he had no choice other than to admit his guilt.”
Egerton continued he was proud of the dedication of his investigative team, but his thoughts on Monday were entirely with Wadsworth’s family and friends.
“Nothing will bring Ashley back, but I hope they find some comfort afforded by the sentence,” he said.
“As a force, domestic abuse is a key priority and our officers work tirelessly every day to keep victims of domestic abuse safe. We are proud of our Domestic Abuse Problem Solving Team who work alongside partners to support victims and challenge perpetrators.
“I would urge anyone who is, or has been, or knows someone who is subject to domestic abuse, to come forward and make a report. We will listen to you and support you.
“We will help you find your voice.”
Tributes to Wadsworth from her family can be read here.