A British man has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a Canadian teenager who moved to England last year after meeting him online.
Essex police said Monday that Jack Sepple will spend a minimum of 23 and a half years in prison for the death of Ashley Wadsworth in Vernon, British Columbia.
Wadsworth, 19, was attacked, stabbed and strangled at the 23-year-old’s home on February 1, police said.
Sepple pleaded guilty to the murder of Wadsworth last month.
Supplementary details. Scott Egerton said in his statement that the evidence against him was “so overwhelming” that he was forced to plead guilty.
“My thoughts today are with Ashley’s friends and family. There is nothing for Ashley to come back to, but I hope the ruling will bring them some comfort,” Egerton said. .
In a statement shared by police, her mother, Christie Gedron, described Wadsworth as a beautiful and smart young woman whose “love and craving for adventure” brought her to England.
“You were the mainstay of our little family,” her mother said.
Wadsworth’s Facebook page indicated she moved to England last November. She posted a photo of what she described as a “wonderful trip to London” with Sepul just weeks before her murder.
On Monday, police said two of the teenage friends received a text on the day of the attack saying she needed help and wanted to leave Sepple’s home. The text asked the pair to pick her up, but was followed by a message that everything was “sorted.”
Worried about my friend’s safety, my friend went to the address. They heard movement in the one-bedroom home, but when there was no response, they called the police.
Police arrived minutes later and broke into the premises. They find Sepple on his cell phone in the bedroom next to Wadsworth’s dead body.
“Sepul calmly told officers that he had strangled and stabbed Ashley,” the statement said.
Forensic investigators found a bloody knife behind the radiator in the property’s lounge.
“Sadly, despite the best efforts of police and medics, Ashley, who had traveled from Canada to the UK to be with Sepple, was pronounced dead at the scene.”
An autopsy found she had been stabbed more than 90 times and had bruises on her neck consistent with strangulation, police said.
According to police, during the course of the investigation, police discovered that she had passed on messages to her friends after her death, saying that everything had been “sorted out.”
Sepple was sentenced to life in prison at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday.
According to Gedron’s statement, her daughter had a moral and spiritual compass that was “second to none” and was always looking out for others.
“When you helped someone, they knew they were loved,” she said.
Ashley’s father, Kenneth Wadsworth, also released a statement through police, saying she wanted to take a year off to visit Sepul before going home and going to college.
Her father described her as a brilliant student who, at seven months old, quickly learned to do anything from walking to playing sports.
“I wasn’t keen on you going to England. I was away from everyone, but you were a very strong person and knew what you wanted in life.
A statement said he was thinking about why she stayed at Sepple.
It resonates with me. At the same time, I know that you are a very kind and loving person.
The police department said domestic abuse was a key priority and urged anyone affected by it, or known to be being abused, to come forward and report it.