Social Media Murders: Grieving mum's warning as ITVX documentary examines death of Ashley Wadsworth

Jack Sepple and Ashley Wadsworth
Credit: Ashley Wadsworth/Facebook
The documentary explores the relationship between Ashley Wadsworth and Jack Sepple. Credit: Facebook/Ashley Wadsworth

The grieving mother of a Canadian teenager murdered by her boyfriend has warned of the dangers of toxic relationships - saying her daughter "flew to the UK excited and alive but sadly flew home in a box".

Christy Gendron was speaking ahead of a new documentary to be aired on ITVX about her daughter Ashley Wadsworth.

The 19-year-old was attacked by Jack Sepple at their home in Chelmsford in February 2022, when she was stabbed 90 times.

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

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, his trial heard.

Sepple pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 23 years and six months.

Ashley Wadsworth came to the UK to be with her boyfriend Jack Sepple. Credit: Family picture/Essex Police

The ITVX documentary, part of the Social Media Murders series, entitled The Murder of Ashley Wadsworth, explores the relationship between Ms Wadsworth and Sepple.

Mrs Gendron said: "What happened to Ashley unfortunately happens every day all over the world.

"Everyone needs to know how easily people can be manipulated and controlled by these creeps who prey on vulnerable and loving individuals.

"There is help out there for people involved in these types of violent and controlling relationships.

"If you or someone you know is going through this, then please reach out for help to authorities immediately."

Ms Wadsworth's mother said she wished she had known about Clare's Law before her daughter headed to the UK.

Clare's Law gives any member of the public the right to ask the police if their partner may pose a risk to them.

"Please, do your research on partners before you meet them," said Mrs Gendron.

"We tried to look up Jack Sepple’s previous criminal history but were unsuccessful to find any charges or convictions. 

"We should have reached out ahead of time through Claire’s law. We learned the hardest lesson of all

"Our beautiful Ashley flew to England excited, alive and well, but sadly flew home in a box."

Speaking directly to those in abusive relationships, she urged them to get out.

"Please be warned and leave these violent, toxic and dangerous relationships now. If your gut tells you something isn’t right then, please, trust that feeling and intervene right away, even if they say it’s fine and they’re ok. 

“It’s too late to save Ashley but it’s not too late to save yourself or someone you love.”

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

Det Supt Scott Egerton, who led the murder investigation, said: “In every detective’s career, there is always one case that stays with them.

"This is my case.

“I was on my way home when I got the call to come back to the office and I remember seeing the scene for the first time. It was truly shocking.

"In that split second, I knew we had to secure justice for Ashley - a young woman who had her life ahead of her, but for Jack Sepple’s actions that day.

“This documentary is Ashley’s legacy. I’d urge anyone who is, or has been, or knows someone who is suffering domestic abuse, to come forward and make a report. We will listen to you and support you."

The documentary will be available on ITVX from Thursday.

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