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Man admits murder of girlfriend weeks after she moved in with him

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Jack Sepple, 23, admitted at Chelmsford Crown Court to murdering Ashley Wadsworth, 19, who he met via a dating app. She was found dead at flats in Tennyson Road, Chelmsford, at about 4pm on February 1, just days before she was due to fly home.

It emerged today Ms Wadsworth died from a number of stab wounds.

A previous court hearing was told she’d come to Britain on a six-month long tourist visa and met Sepple online.

He was arrested after police were called to reports of a domestic disturbance.

Miss Wadsworth was pronounced dead at the scene despite the efforts of the emergency services.

An inquest opening gave a provisional cause of death as a stab wound to the chest.

A previous court hearing was told Sepple had been on a bed next to Miss Wadsworth’s body when police arrived.

In a tribute, her great aunt Tova Wadsworth said she was on the trip of a lifetime after arriving in the UK from her home in Vernon, British Columbia, in November.

During a brief hearing, Sepple’s barrister said a psychiatrist had indicated he was fit to plead.

Christopher Paxton QC said the “issue of fitness is now resolved” and requested the defendant be asked to enter a plea.

Sepple, of Tennyson Road, was dressed in a white, long sleeve T-shirt for the hearing.

The court clerk read the single charge of murder and Sepple replied: “I’m guilty”.

He showed little emotion as he entered his plea.

Sepple was remanded in custody and is set to be sentenced on October 10, Essex Police said in a statement today (September 7).

Judge Christopher Morgan told him: “You know that by your plea of guilty of murder there is only one sentence and that is to be passed and that is a life sentence.”

Miss Wadsworth converted to Mormonism at the age of 18 and moved to England on November 12 where she went to move in with Mr Sepple. The couple were pictured visiting London landmarks together. She also went on a trip to Rye in East Sussex.

The family paid tribute to Miss Wadsworth’s “spontaneous, witty, kind personality” in a statement released by Essex Police.

Her grandfather shared his shock at her death and told how he thought the UK was a safe place.

Jeff Wadsworth, 66, said he even encouraged his granddaughter to travel to England and thought it was going to be the time of her life.

He told the Daily Mail: “We’re just devastated. I can’t believe it.

“I never thought something like this would happen in England.

“I thought it was the safest place in the world. And it is a safe place, this is such a not normal thing.”

Older sister Hailey said she would always treasure her sibling as her best friend. Her niece Paisley called her the best auntie ever. The family statement added: “Everyone appreciated how Ashley saved her own money to buy Paisley her first swing set.

“The whole Wadsworth family admired Ashley’s sense of adventure having travelled extensively within Canada and further afield to Mexico, California and England.”

Miss Wadsworth dreamed of becoming a lawyer and had accepted a place at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia.

The family added: “Ashley had recently found her faith and was excited to share that with others.

“Ashley, you are beautiful to us and we will miss you very, very, much.”

Detective Superintendent Scott Egerton, senior investigating officer, said: “Today, Jack Sepple has admitted murdering Ashley Wadsworth.

“The evidence against Sepple is so overwhelming that he was left with very few options other than to admit his guilt.

“At the very least, today’s plea means Ashley’s family will be spared the heartache of having to sit through a trial.

“I hope today they can feel some form of comfort knowing that Sepple is facing a substantial amount of time behind bars for his actions.”

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