Sepple sentenced for murder of girlfriend in Chelmsford

The family of Ashley Wadsworth has thanked detectives for securing justice as her killer was sentenced to life imprisonment and ordered to serve a minimum of 23 years and six months.

Ashley was stabbed during a sustained attack in Jack Sepple’s home in Tennyson Road, Chelmsford, on Tuesday February 1 this year.

Earlier that day, two of the 19-year-old’s friends received texts saying Ashley needed help and wanted to leave. The texts asked the pair to come and get her from the Tennyson Road property, followed by messages a while later saying everything was “sorted”.

Victim: Ashley Wadsworth had moved from Canada to be with her murderer

Concerned for their friend’s safety, the pair went to the address where Ashley was staying. Despite hearing movement within the property, they got no response and decided to call 999.

Officers arrived minutes later at 4.15pm and forced entry.

After making their way to the bedroom, they found Sepple on his mobile phone alongside Ashley’s body.

Sepple calmly told officers he had strangled and stabbed Ashley.

Hidden behind a radiator in the lounge of the one-bedroom property, forensic officers recovered a blood-stained knife.

Ashley, who had moved to the UK from Canada to be with Sepple, was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post-mortem examination found Ashley had been stabbed more than 90 times and had bruising on her neck consistent with strangulation.

During the investigation, officers discovered that the messages telling Ashley’s friends that everything was “sorted” were sent after her death.

Today, Monday October 10, Sepple was jailed for life at Chelmsford Crown Court. The 23-year-old had admitted murder last month at the same court.

Detective Superintendent Scott Egerton, led the case.

He said: “Today, Ashley’s family and friends can know that justice has been served.

“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.

“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.”

Mick Ferris

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