By Claire Gordon • 03 February 2022 • 18:05
A 23-year-old Essex man has appeared in court charged with murdering his teenage Canadian girlfriend just weeks after she left her home country to stay with him. Jack Sepple is accused of killing Ashley Wadsworth, 19, from Vernon in British Columbia, at a property in Chelmsford on Tuesday 1 February.
Sepple, of Tennyson Road, Chelmsford, appeared at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, to face one count of murder. He was remanded into custody and will next appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday.
Emergency services were called to an address in a quiet cul-de-sac just after 4 pm on Tuesday afternoon following reports of a disturbance. Paramedics tried to save the teenager’s life but she unfortunately died at the scene.
The pair had met online and Ms Wadsworth had come over to meet Sepple late last year. Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with her death. The force has also asked anyone who might have CCTV footage that can help the investigation to come forward.
Ms Wadsworth’s friends have been paying tribute to her on Facebook as police continue to investigate her death. Tianna Kowalchuk wrote: “Probably one of the worst feelings is losing your best friend.
“A best friend is more than a boyfriend, a sibling and even a parent. A best friend is someone you can genuinely tell everything to. It’s someone you can tell about stuff that you may not even be able to tell your parents. It’s someone who will never judge you for needing to vent or rant about something that is bothering you. It’s someone you always feel comfortable around.
“I’m sorry there wasn’t more I or anyone else could do to help you. But God has you in his hands now, we have you in our hearts forever.”
Detective Chief Inspector Scott Egerton, the senior investigating officer on the Canadian girlfriend case, said in a statement: “I know that incidents like this will shock and sadden the community, but our initial enquiries show this to be an isolated incident and that there is no wider risk to the community.
“Currently, we are not looking for anyone else.
“We have a team of dedicated officers working around the clock to establish the circumstances which led to a woman losing her life.
“The investigation is progressing well, but we will remain on scene for a few more days whilst we continue to gather evidence and establish the facts.”
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