A Brit who murdered his 19-year-old Canadian girlfriend wrote a letter of apology to her family from prison, blaming his “intrusive thoughts” for her death.
In the letter, a copy of which may be disclosed pleasemynewsJack Sepple said he was “very sorry” for the murder of Ashley Wadsworth at his home in Essex on February 1.
Sepple, 23, was sentenced to life in prison on Monday, with a minimum sentence of 23 years and six months after a court learned he violently stabbed and strangled Ms Wadsworth to death just days before she was reunited with her family in Canada.
She suffered wounds to her heart, liver, lungs and stomach, and bruises were found on her face, neck and both arms and legs, Chelmsford Crown Court heard.
It was revealed that Sepple had a history of violence against women and two previous partners had obtained restraining orders against him. His mother also obtained a restraining order against him in 2014 after he dragged her to the ground during an argument.
In a letter written from prison, Seple addressed Ms Wadsworth’s family and confirmed that “there is nothing I can say that can bring Ashley back, nor can I make your pain go away”.
He continued: “I am very sorry for what I did and I regret my actions that resulted in Ashley’s life being taken. You knew about my mental health as I have been open with Ashley about it and how it has affected my thinking and while other people may not believe me my mental health has been deteriorating rapidly and it is not an excuse but I know that my intrusive thoughts have a great effect on my thinking and my actions.”
He concluded: “I just wanted to tell you that I’m so so sorry. Jack Sepple.”
Sepple met Ms Wadsworth online when he was 15 and she was 12, and the couple have kept in touch over the years. During her year abroad, Ms Wadsworth decided to apply for a six-month tourist visa to visit Sepple in the UK.
The court heard Sepple behave violently towards Ms Wadsworth during her visit and took control of her social media accounts, preventing her from contacting friends. On the day of her death, Ms Wadsworth used Seple’s Facebook account to message friends and ask for help. She also went to a neighbor’s house and knocked on their door, telling them she was afraid Sepple would kill them.
The neighbor brought Ms Wadsworth back to Sepple’s home after Sepple assured him that everything was fine between them.
Two friends, who had met Ms Wadsworth through their shared Mormon faith, went to the Essex home where she was staying after receiving their messages from Seple’s social media account. When they were not allowed inside, they called 999.
Police broke down the door and found Mrs Wadsworth dead in the bedroom. The court heard that after killing Ms Wadsworth, Sepple video-called his sister and showed her Ms Wadsworth’s lifeless body.
When confronted by police officers, Sepple told them, “I’ve gone psychotic, I’m sorry … I strangled and stabbed her.”
At Seple’s sentencing hearing, Ms Wadsworth’s mother, Christy Gendron, said birthdays and family holidays “will remain a constant source of pain because there will always be an empty seat at the table”.
“Ashley’s love for Jack ultimately cost her her life,” she said.
“Ashley is my baby and the trauma of her murder has had a profound impact on my life… I’m constantly nervous and scared. I only sleep for an hour or two at a time as the nightmare of her final moments is all I can think about.”
She added: “My life and that of my family will never be the same again. It’s a nightmare that, thanks to you, Jack, we’ll never wake up from.”
Ms Wadsworth’s father Ken Wadsworth said his daughter’s death had strained his marriage and that he now finds it difficult to go to public places for fear people might speak to him about her murder.
“I was outgoing before Ashley’s murder and now I’m not the same Ken I used to be. I feel uncomfortable when I go out,” he said.