Ashley Wadsworth: Family's emotional tribute to daughter as Jack Sepple sentenced for her murder

Jack Sepple and Ashley Wadsworth
Credit: Ashley Wadsworth/Facebook

The family of a Canadian student murdered by the partner she flew to England for said she paid with her life for the kindness she had shown him.

Ashley Wadsworth was stabbed to death by her boyfriend Jack Sepple, just weeks after she flew to the UK for them to begin their new life together in Chelmsford in Essex.

But when she decided to return to Canada because of his abusive behaviour, Sepple attacked her in their bed, strangling and stabbing her, and then recorded the bloody aftermath in a confession filmed on his mobile phone.

Her family spoke outside court in Chelmsford after the sentencing today.

On Monday, her father Kenneth Wadsworth told Chelmsford Crown Court he had had a "bad feeling" at the thought of his daughter leaving British Columbia to live with her boyfriend in Essex.

"I didn’t know this guy," he said. "[Ashley was a] caring person and would’ve wanted to help him with anything he was going through but I wish she had left and come home.

"I miss everything about Ashley, her every breath," he told the court, as he broke down in tears.

Ashley's mother Christie Gendron described her younger daughter as a curious person, keen to learn about the world around her, and with a "sense of adventure and love of life [that] was an inspiration to us all".

Ashley Wadsworth had flown from British Columbia in Canada to be with her boyfriend in Essex. Credit: Facebook/Ashley Wadsworth

She remembered how a young Ashley would make lip balms and potions for her mother and older sister.

"Memories like this make me smile but it fades when I realise this is all I have left," she said.

She said the holiday season would always be painful "because there will always be an empty seat at the table now". 

'Passion for Jack would ultimately cost her life'

Mrs Gendron said her daughter and Sepple had begun talking again during the Covid lockdowns, after years of on and off dating.

"I wasn’t happy about it but she was adult and I couldn’t stop it," she said.

"Passion and love for Jack would ultimately cost her life.

"She always wanted to help him and he repaid her by taking her life."

Mrs Gendron said she no longer laughed or even breathed the same, since the death of her daughter, adding: "I am constantly on edge and in fear.

"I will never have another child and I will only be a mother to one daughter from this day forward.

Ashley Wadsworth had known Jack Sepple since she was 12 and he was 15. Credit: Facebook/Ashley Wadsworth

"Night times are the worst for me. I only sleep an hour or a two at a time because of the nightmare of her last moments haunt me."

She added: "My last memories will always be her funeral and holding her cold hand.

"I know this sentence won’t bring her back but it can prevent him from hurting another woman and putting another family through this again.

"We will never be whole again. Ashley was ripped away from us in cruellest way. And this is a nightmare that - thanks to you, Jack - we will never wake up from."

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