Man jailed for life for murder of Sarah Ashwell

In a statement, Sarah's mother asked Jankauskas “Who gave you the right to take her life?". Credit: Avon and Somerset Police

A man has been jailed for life after admitting to murdering a 47-year-old in Wells.

Antanas Jankauskas must serve at least 14 years and 10 months in prison.

He admitted his crime at Bristol Crown Court today (10 March).

The court heard a personal statement from Sarah's mother describing the devastation and heartbreak of her parents at having their only child taken from them.

She said: “Who gave you the right to take her life?

"You knew she had two young children and people that loved her.

“The boys have lost their mummy. One day she was watching her son’s rugby match, the next day they are told she is dead.

"How can you live with that?

Sarah's body was found in her home last November Credit: Avon and Somerset Police

“Sarah used to talk about the boys getting married one day and having children of their own. She would wonder what their partners would be like.

"Now Sarah will never meet those partners and will never know what it is like being a grandparent.

“There will always be questions all through [the boys’] lives. They will have to live with the fact that people will want to know what happened to their mother.

“We will never have Sarah back and the last minutes of Sarah’s life haunt me and will until the day I die.”

Sarah was found dead on 7 November 2021 at her home in South Street.

The investigation, which was led by Detective Superintendent Gary Haskins, involved more than 100 officers and police staff from across the Avon and Somerset police.

DS Haskins said: “Sarah’s life was taken by someone she had known and trusted.

"I want to pay tribute to Sarah’s family for their dignity and strength after facing every parent’s nightmare.

“Throughout our investigation, we developed a picture of Sarah as a person – someone who was a well-loved mother, daughter and friend.

"I hope that those who loved Sarah can now start to build a new future for her sons while keeping her memory alive."

Now that criminal proceedings have concluded the police watchdog, the IOPC will carry out an investigation into the Avon and Somerset police due to recent contact with the force before Sarah's death.