Ashley Wadsworth: Everything we know about the killing of Canadian teen who flew to UK to meet online boyfriend

Canadian teenager flew across the world on a ‘trip of a lifetime’ to be with her British boyfriend. Three months later, she was dead

Rachel Sharp
Friday 04 February 2022 16:27
<p>Canadian teen Ashley Wadsworth was found dead in Essex</p>

Canadian teen Ashley Wadsworth was found dead in Essex

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Her family says it was the first time Ashley Wadsworth had ever left Canada.

She posted photos online enjoying the tourist hotspots of London, UK, with her boyfriend Jack Sepple, their smiling faces and arms around each other making them look every inch the happy couple.

On Tuesday, the 19-year-old from Vernon, British Columbia, was found stabbed to death in the apartment they shared in Essex, UK, and her boyfriend was charged with her murder.

The murder

Essex Police responded to 911 calls from neighbours who reported a disturbance at a block of flats in Chelmsford at around 4pm local time.

Emergency responders battled to save the 19-year-old’s life but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police officers reassured the public that they had made “a quick arrest” at the scene and did not believe there was any risk to the wider public.

The suspect

Ms Wadsworth’s boyfriend Jack Sepple was arrested and charged with her murder.

The 23-year-old, from Chelmsford, appeared at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on Thursday and was remanded into custody.

He is scheduled to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday.

How did the couple meet?

Prosecutors said that ​​the couple – her from British Columbia, Canada, and him from Essex, UK – met online.

Ms Wadsworth then flew to the UK as a “birthday present” to meet Mr Sepple on what her family said was “a trip of a lifetime”.

Her Facebook page reveals that she moved to Essex on 12 November.

Since then, she posted several photos of the young couple smiling together while out and about in Essex and London.

In one post on 11 January, she wrote: “All the photos (more coming) of my amazing trip to London with Jack and his parents for his birthday! So thankful for them.”

The couple were pictured smiling and posing together at many tourist spots including Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London.

On 30 January, just 48 hours before she was killed, Ms Wadsworth changed her profile picture to a close-up of herself and Mr Sepple together.

Family calls for justice as tributes pour in

Ms Wadsworth’s family has called for “justice” as tributes poured in on social media.

“My poor baby sister we will get justice baby girl I love you so much I miss u everyday ur big sissy loves u,” her sister Hailey Wadsworth commented on a Facebook post.

Her great-aunt Tova Wadsworth described her as “a beautiful young lady and full of love and kindness for all in her life”.

“This was a trip of a lifetime ... Nothing of this makes any sense,” she said.

“Her family is heartbroken and struggles to understand.”

The teen converted to the Church of the Latter-day Saints at the age of 18 and was described as a “woman of great faith”.

Fellow churchgoer Daniel Seaman said: “She was in England to live with her boyfriend, she was excited to live abroad and she always wanted to get out of the small town life in Vernon.

“She was kind and energetic, she always jumped in with both feet to everything she did.

“She also was a woman of great faith, and she came to find that faith when she was 18 but immediately dove in to share her faith with others and help them live a better life.

“She had even wanted to share her faith with her boyfriend just weeks before her murder.”

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