Man admits murdering teenage girlfriend who flew to UK on 'trip of a lifetime'

A man has admitted murdering a Canadian teenager he met online and who had flown to the UK to be with him.

Jack Sepple, 23, stabbed Ashley Wadsworth, 19, to death after she travelled thousands of miles across the world.

She was found unresponsive at a property in Tennyson Road, Chelmsford on February 1 this year.

An inquest hearing was told that she died of ‘stab wounds to the chest’.

Sepple was arrested at the scene and later charged with Miss Wadsworth’s murder.

He admitted the charge at Chelmsford Crown Court in Essex today.

Ms Wadsworth had travelled to the UK from Vernon in British Columbia in November last year on a six month tourist visa.

Her great aunt Tova Wadsworth said that she was on the ‘trip of a lifetime’ after arriving in the UK in November last year.

Earlier this year she posted photos online of her ‘amazing trip to London’, where she had been sightseeing.

In a statement, her family said she was a ‘kind and beautiful woman’ with an ‘unforgettable laugh’ and ‘spontaneous, witty, kind personality’.

She was described as ‘fiercely loving and loyal to her family and friends’.

Older sister Hailey said she will always treasure Ashley, as her ‘best friend’.

Ashley’s niece Paisley called her the ‘best aunty ever’ as the statement added: ‘Everyone appreciated how Ashley saved her own money to buy Paisley her first swing set.

She had travelled extensively within Canada and further afield to Mexico, California and England, with her family saying her travelling deepened her desire for life experience and ‘encouraged her love of language’ as she spoke three languages in English, French and Spanish.

Ms Wadsworth had recently converted to become a Mormon, and dreamed of becoming a lawyer.

She had been accepted to Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC.

‘Ashley, you are beautiful to us, and we will miss you very, very, much,’ her family said.

In a brief hearing today, Sepple’s barrister said a psychiatrist had indicated that the defendant was fit to plead.

The court clerk read the single charge of murder and Sepple, standing in the secure dock in a long white sleeved top and with tattoos on his face and hand, replied: ‘I’m guilty.’

Judge Christopher Morgan told Sepple: ‘By your plea of guilty to murder there’s only one sentence that can be passed and that’s a life sentence.’

He remanded the defendant in custody until a date to be fixed administratively, when he will be sentenced.

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