A documentary focused on the murder of Vernon teen Ashley Wadsworth aired on British TV Thursday.
Nineteen-year-old Wadsworth was murdered in the U.K. Feb. 1, 2022, by Jack Sepple, 23, who she had travelled to England to meet after connecting with him online.
Sepple received a life sentence for Wadsworth’s murder after her body was found stabbed multiple times in a home in Chelmsford, Essex. Wadsworth’s death came just days before she was to return home to Vernon.
“It’s too late to save Ashley but it’s not too late to save yourself or someone you love,” Essex police said in a post to their website earlier this week, quoting Wadsworth’s mother, Christy Gendron.
The documentary is part of the Social Media Murders series entitled The Murder of Ashley Wadsworth. It aired on ITVX Thursday evening, March 2.
The documentary explores the relationship between Wadsworth and Sepple while showing how detectives in Essex secured justice for Wadsworth and her family. The documentary also “reasserts our commitment to tackling domestic violence,” Essex police said.
“As a force, domestic abuse is a key priority and our officers work tirelessly every day to keep victims of domestic abuse safe, “Essex police wrote.
Essex police have made recent efforts to stop domestic abuse, solving 279 crimes over the past year while seeing a 6.2 per cent reduction in reported domestic abuse crimes.
Speaking ahead of the documentary, Detective Supt. Scott Egerton, who led the murder investigation, said: “In every detective’s career, there is always one case that stays with them. This is my case.
“I was on my way home when I got the call to come back to the office and I remember seeing the scene for the first time. It was truly shocking. In that split second, I knew we had to secure justice for Ashley - a young woman who had her life ahead of her, but for Jack Sepple’s actions that day.
“This documentary is Ashley’s legacy. I’d urge anyone who is, or has been, or knows someone who is suffering domestic abuse, to come forward and make a report. We will listen to you and support you.”
Gendron said her daughter is solely missed every day.
“She was our ray of sunshine, confident, bright and warm.”
Gendron said what happened to Wadsworth happens every day all over the world.
“Everyone needs to know how easily people can be manipulated and controlled by these creeps who prey on vulnerable and loving individuals,” Gendron added. “There is help out there for people involved in these types of violent and controlling relationships. If you or someone you know is going through this, then please reach out for help to authorities immediately.”
Gendron said for those in the U.K., it’s important to understand Clare’s Law, which gives any member of the public the right to ask police if their partner may pose a risk to them.
“We learned the hardest lesson of all! Our beautiful Ashley flew to England excited, alive and well, but sadly flew home in a box,” Gendron said. “The most dangerous time for a victim of domestic violence is when they decide to end the relationship and leave.”
On Feb. 1, a candlelight vigil was held at Kin Beach in Vernon to mark one year since Wadsworth’s death. Close to 70 people came out to pay their respects.