A ‘possessive’ and ‘psychotic’ boyfriend who murdered his Canadian Mormon girlfriend after she arrived in the UK to be with him has been sentenced to life in jail.
Jack Sepple, 23, stabbed to death Ashley Wadsworth, 19, in a ‘brutal and cowardly’ attack at his Essex home in which he ‘gratuitously inflicted some 90 wounds on her body’ just days before she was due to be reunited with family in Canada.
He then Facetimed his sister to show her Ms Wadworth’s dead body, before police found him lying in a pool of blood in bed next to her body – which had been punctured with ‘multiple’ stab wounds.
The young couple are understood to have first met virtually on a dating app, with aspiring lawyer Ashley upending her ‘small-town life’ to fly across the Atlantic on a six-month tourist visa to be with her new boyfriend in November last year.
But the idyllic lifestyle they tried to share online hid a dark truth. Family members said she had begged them to buy her a ticket home and spoke of Sepple’s possessive and abusive behaviour in the days leading up to her death.
She was just two days away from flying back to Vernon, British Columbia, when she was found dead.
Appearing at Chelmsford Crown Court today, Sepple was jailed for life with a minimum term of 23 years and six months. He showed no emotion as the sentence was handed down.
High Court Judge Mr Justice Edward Murray told the court that Sepple, who had previous convictions for offences including battery and harassment against his own mother, had displayed a ‘clear pattern of violent and controlling behaviour for a number of women’.
The judge added that Sepple had written a note in prison that had ‘disturbing, graphic reasons for the killing and how you felt about it’.
Simon Spence KC, prosecuting, earlier said Sepple was ‘angered’ by Ashley’s decision to return home. He then ‘both strangled and stabbed’ her before he ‘went about his daily business’.
He also revealed how Sepple FaceTimed his sister following the killing, adding: ‘He went about his daily business, including a FaceTime call to his sister, where he showed her the body of Ashley.
‘That’s when the police entered the house. The injuries were horrific and showed an intent to kill.’
Ashley’s parents made the trip from Canada to confront their daughter’s killer in court today.
Her mother Christy Gendron said she had been ‘ripped away in the cruellest way’, adding that Sepple had robbed her of ‘what would have been a beautiful life’.
Kenneth, her father, told Sepple that he had caused ‘never ending pain’ for the family.