THE sister of a Canadian teenager who was killed after she’d moved to the UK says she’d still be alive if they had known about her killer’s dark past.
Ashley Wadsworth, 19, was strangled and stabbed a year ago by her boyfriend Jack Sepple, who inflicted 90 wounds on her at his home in Chelmsford, Essex.
3Ashley Wadsworth was strangled and stabbed by her boyfriend Jack Sepple who had a history of violence against womenCredit: Essex Police3Ashley had moved to the UK to be with SeppleHer sister Hailey says she would still be alive if her family had known about his previous convictions against women for assault and harassment.
She said that in Canada it is much easier to find out that sort of information than in the UK.
Sepple, 23, was handed a life sentence with a minimum of 23 years and six months behind bars.
At his trial, it was revealed he had eight previous convictions, nearly all were for domestic violence.
The judge said it showed a “clear pattern of violent and controlling behaviour for a number of women”.
Later on, it emerged two of his former partners and his own mum had taken out restraining orders against him.
Hailey told the Mirror: “Before the court case we had no idea about these previous convictions and Ashley had no idea at all.
“There should be more of an open background check in England. Here you can search for anyone online to see if they have a criminal record – that’s how it should be.
“If we had known his background we’d never have let her go. Even though she was 19, I’d have dragged her away from that airport.”
Ashley had met Sepple online when she was 12 and he was 15.
She had also wanted to visit London and fell for the Brit.
But once she got to his flat, the romance soured.
Hailey witnessed his behaviour during a FaceTime video call with her sister in the weeks before the murder.
She said that Sepple had hit Ashley in the head with a glass and its fragments were all over the floor.
Ashley told her he was making her clean it up before ending the call.
Around a week before her death, the sisters were once again having a FaceTime call when Sepple became angry and started throwing objects, including a candle, at her face.
Then on another FaceTime call on the day of her murder, Ashley and Sepple were arguing and she dropped the phone but it was propped up by a couch and Hailey could see him punching her in the head.
Hailey then said she was hanging up and would call for help.
She then got a call from their neighbour because Sepple had broken her phone and Ashley was there with her.
She told Hailey she was scared as Sepple was beating her up and she didn’t know what to do.
Hailey said she needed to return home “now”.
The family booked a flight back to Canada for two days later, not thinking she would be murdered.
Hailey then made numerous calls to Sepple’s phone the following day but she then got a call from Essex Police asking for a description of her sister.
She said she then knew Ashley “was gone” and she dropped to the ground, screaming.
Hailey is now set to marry her fiancé in September, knowing her sister won’t be there.
A cousin will carry a picture of Ashley down the aisle.
Ashley is buried in her home city of Vernon, British Columbia.
Hailey described her sister as a nice, “innocent girl” who cared about everybody, adding she was “robbed of her life”.
Under UK law, Brits can use the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme to ask cops if a partner has any convictions.
It is known as Clare’s Law, after Clare Wood who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend George Appleton in 2009.
He had a record of violence against women.
After her dad, Michael Brown, campaigned for the law for five years it came into force in England and Wales in 2014, with versions of the scheme later emerging in Northern Ireland and Scotland.
However, Hailey wants the government to expand the law to follow Canada where court convictions are available through a simple web search for an offender’s name.
HOW YOU CAN GET HELP:Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families
Always keep your phone nearby.
Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
If you are in danger, call 999.
Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – email@example.com.
Women’s Aid provides a live chat service – available weekdays from 8am-6pm and weekends 10am-6pm.
You can also call the freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
3Sepple was given a life sentence with a minimum of of 23 years and six months behind bars for Ashley’s murder
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk