Essex man admits murder of Canadian teenager Ashley Wadsworth after meeting on on dating app

Ashley Wadsworth died in Chelmsford on Tuesday 1 February.
Ashley Wadsworth was stabbed to death in Chelmsford in February 2022. Credit: Family photo

A 23-year-old man has admitted murdering a Canadian teenager who he met on a dating app.

Ashley Wadsworth was found dead at a property in Chelmsford in February, just three months after she moved to the UK from British Columbia to be with her boyfriend.

The 19-year-old died from stab wounds to her chest.

She had met Jack Sepple, of Tennyson Road, Chelmsford, through an online dating app while still living abroad and travelled to the UK in November 2021.

At a brief hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court on Wednesday, Sepple was read the single charge of murder and replied: "I'm guilty."

Judge Christopher Morgan told the defendant: "By your plea of guilty to murder there's only one sentence that can be passed and that's a life sentence."

A court sketch of Jack Sepple at Colchester Magistrates' Court. Credit: Elizabeth Cook/PA

Ms Wadsworth, who was a practising Mormon and aspiring lawyer, was described by her family as a “kind” and “beautiful” woman who was “fiercely loving and loyal to her family and friends” alike.

Her social media profile includes many photos of her sightseeing visits in the UK, including an “amazing trip to London” with her boyfriend.

Her family said Ms Wadsworth had moved to the country "to see the world".

Following her death, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints organised a vigil for her in Chelmsford.

Ashley Wadsworth with her family Credit: centre

In a statement, her family said: "They were able to do something for Ashley that we couldn’t, and we will be forever thankful.

"How lucky are we to have people from across the world care so much about a family that they have never met?"

Following Wednesday's court hearing, Sepple was remanded in custody until 10 October when he will be sentenced.

An Essex Police spokesman said: "The evidence against Sepple is so overwhelming that he was left with very few options other than to admit his guilt.

"At the very least, today’s plea means Ashley’s family will be spared the heartache of having to sit through a trial.

"I hope today that they can feel some form of comfort knowing that Sepple is facing a substantial amount of time behind bars for his actions."

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