Ashley Wadsworth: Boyfriend killed Canadian teen then filmed bloody confession

Jack Sepple and Ashley Wadsworth.
Credit: Ashley Wadsworth/Facebook.
Jack Sepple murdered his girlfriend Ashley Wadsworth and then confessed in a video on his phone. Credit: Ashley Wadsworth/Facebook

A killer who murdered his Canadian girlfriend then filmed his own confession while covered in her blood has been sentenced to life in prison.

Jack Sepple attacked Ashley Wadsworth, 19, at their home in Essex in February, stabbing her 90 times - leaving his victim with stab wounds so deep they caused a defect in her spine.

Moments after the attack, Sepple filmed himself on his mobile phone, which was covered in his partner's blood, confessing to the murder and apologising for what he had done, Chelmsford Crown Court was told.

Blood was also found on Sepple's games console - indicating he had been playing on it after Ms Wadsworth's death.

Ms Wadsworth's family spoke outside court following today's sentencing.

  • Ashley Wadsworth's family spoke of their pain after Sepple was jailed

Ms Wadsworth, a member of the Mormon church, had travelled to the UK to be with Sepple from her home in British Columbia.

Sepple had pleaded guilty to murder at an earlier hearing and on Monday was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 23 years and six months.

The judge, the Honourable Mr Justice Murray, said it was a “brutal and cowardly attack” and that Sepple “gratuitously inflicted some 90 wounds on her body”.

"She was a young woman with a loving nature and she was clearly deeply loved by her family especially by her mother, father, sister and niece," he said.

"Your criminal record shows a clear history of violent and controlling behaviour towards women," he told Sepple, describing the attack as a "frenzied killing arising out of violent impulses". 

The judge was told of the confession video, in which Sepple appears to be addressing Ashley's sister, Hayley.

Ms Wadsworth's lifeless body can be seen in the background of the video. As police arrive, he says: "I went psychotic I’m sorry. I strangled her and stabbed her."

He told officers it had happened "two to three hours ago". According to the police officer, Sepple told him that he'd taken "a lot of drugs".

The blood stained kitchen knife used in the attack was found behind a radiator pipe in the living room.

Jack Sepple pleaded guilty to murder at an earlier hearing. Credit: Essex Police

Simon Spence KC, prosecuting, said that Sepple murdered Ms Wadsworth after being “angered by her decision to return prematurely to her home country of Canada”.

“He strangled and repeatedly stabbed Ashley and left her in the bed that they shared while he went about his daily business,” he said.

When police forced entry to the property they found Sepple on a FaceTime call to his sister “as he showed her the body”, Mr Spence said.

The barrister said that earlier that morning a neighbour heard a female scream.

The neighbour said Ms Wadsworth came to her and told her that Sepple “had beaten her up and thrown the kitten against the wall”.

The judge said that Ms Wadsworth was “hysterical” and said that Sepple was going to kill her.

Police were called to Tennyson Road on 1 February, after Sepple stabbed Ashley Wadsworth to death. Credit: Essex Police

Sepple apologised to Ms Wadsworth and was “calm” when the neighbour spoke to him, Mr Spence said, and the neighbour “went for a medical appointment and left at 9.30am”.

Police forced entry at 4.13pm after friends raised concerns for Ms Wadsworth’s safety.

Mr Spence said Sepple has a “clear history of violent and controlling behaviour towards female partners”.

His previous convictions include harassment, breaching a restraining order by contacting a girl after she ended their online relationship, and an assault of his mother, the court heard.

He said the pair met online when Ms Wadsworth was aged 12 and Sepple was around 15 and they had a long-distance relationship, but that Sepple had relationships with other women during this time.

The judge said Ms Wadsworth travelled to the UK on a six-month tourist visa while on a gap year shortly before Christmas 2021.

The court heard they bought a kitten together, called Winston, and a neighbour said they initially appeared happy together.

Cheryl Williams from the Crown Prosecution Service said: "He was supposed to be the person who cared, loved and protected her in a foreign country - but instead, he cruelly snatched her life and future away.

"Ashley was a mere two days away from flying back home when she was killed. Her family have been left devastated by Sepple’s violent and callous actions."

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