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07th Sep 2022

Man admits murdering teen girlfriend who flew to UK on ‘trip of a lifetime’

Tobi Akingbade

Ashley Wadsworth was ‘fiercely loving and loyal’

Jack Sepple has admitted murdering a Canadian teenager Ashley Wadsworth, who he met online and had flown to the UK to be with him.

The 23-year-old was arrested on suspicion of murder at the scene, a block of flats in Chelmsford, Essex at about 4pm on Wednesday. Police formally charged him in February.

She was found unresponsive at a property in Tennyson Road, Chelmsford on February 1 this year.

Sepple admitted the charge at Chelmsford Crown Court in Essex today.

An inquest hearing was told that she died of ‘stab wounds to the chest’.

The 19-year-old was pronounced dead at an address on Tennyson Road, despite paramedics rushing to save the 19-year-old after concerned neighbours called police.

At the time no one else was being sought in connection with her death and police had asked anyone that has CCTV footage that can help the investigation to come forward.

Wadsworth, from Vernon, Canada, had travelled to England on November 12 to visit Sepple, the Mirror reported. She was described as ‘fiercely loving and loyal to her family and friends’.

During her trip, Wadsworth visited dozens of tourist hotspots including Buckingham Palace and Big Ben in London, the publisher said. She was also said to have joined Sepple’s family for a trip to the historic town of Rye in East Sussex.

In a brief hearing today, Sepple’s barrister said a psychiatrist had indicated that the defendant was fit to plead.

The court clerk read the single charge of murder and Sepple, standing in the secure dock in a long white sleeved top and with tattoos on his face and hand, replied: “I’m guilty.”

Judge Christopher Morgan told Sepple: “By your plea of guilty to murder there’s only one sentence that can be passed and that’s a life sentence.”

He remanded the defendant in custody until a date to be fixed administratively, when he will be sentenced.

At the time of her death, teenager’s friends and family have posted tributes to her on Facebook.

Larissa Kontos, a friend of Wadsworth’s sister, described her as a “beautiful loving soul” and said Wadsworth had a ticket booked to return to Canada on Thursday.

“You will never be forgotten my girly. And I’ll miss you so much,” she added.

Wadsworth’s aunt, Rosie Turcotte, wrote: “I am so angry, sad and f **ing mad.

“Want to say so much right now, but mama always said if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.”

She added: “Another special angel gone way too soon.”

Tianna Kowalchuk wrote: “Probably one of the worst feelings is losing your best friend.

“A best friend is more than a boyfriend, a sibling, and even a parent. A best friend is someone you can genuinely tell everything to. It’s someone you can tell about stuff that you may not even be able to tell your parents. It’s someone who will never judge you for needing to vent or rant about something that is bothering you. It’s someone you always feel comfortable around. “I’m sorry there wasn’t more I or anyone else could do to help you. But God has you in his hands now, we have you in our hearts forever.”

At the time of her death Detective Chief Inspector Scott Egerton, the senior investigating officer on the case, said in a statement: “I know that incidents like this will shock and sadden the community, but our initial enquiries show this to be an isolated incident and that there is no wider risk to the community.”

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