'Broken' family of murdered Canadian teenager Ashley Wadsworth still hear mother's screams of horror

Ashley Wadsworth, in cap and gown, with, from left, her mother Christy, niece Paige, sister Hailey and step-mother Charmaine. Credit: Essex Police

The sister of a Canadian woman brutally murdered by her boyfriend in the UK says her family has been left "broken" by the actions of her killer.

Ashley Wadsworth, 19, was attacked by Jack Sepple at their home in Essex in February, when she was stabbed 90 times - and left with stab wounds so deep they caused a defect in her spine.

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.

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

Her sister Hailey paid tribute in a statement read by a friend during the hearing.

She said: "Ashley was more than just my sister, she was my best friend and an amazing auntie to my daughter Paisley. My family is broken and we survive from day to day."

She described her sister as "the rock of our small family", and revealed that Ashley was going to be her maid of honour at her wedding.

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.

The shock of Ashley's murder was still with the family, said Hailey. She added: "I’m still in disbelief. I have PTSD, I am on medication and go to therapy."

Her daughter, she added, refers to Ashley as "her auntie in the sky".

Speaking directly to Sepple in court, she said she could "still hear the screams and cries from my mum when she found out what you have done".

Paying tribute to her sister as an "intelligent, beautiful, positive and completely innocent person," she condemned Sepple's actions.

"We trusted you to care and look after her - you broke that trust," she said. 

"Your murderous actions on that day have had a ripple effect on my family. 

"I hope the time you spend locked up make you realise what you have done and you won’t get to do this to someone else."