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Statement from the family of Sarah Ashwell

Today is another day of sadness for Sarah’s family.

We are very grateful to Avon and Somerset Police and their teams of officers who have been exemplary in their support for our grieving family, and in bringing this case to court. We especially want to thank DC Louise Findlay and DC Rachel Pople.

We are grateful to Victim Support, to our friends and members of the public, to Bridgwater Investigation Team 3 and to Detective Superintendent Gary Haskins. We will never forget the kindness of the officers who helped us.

For us, knowing that we will never see Sarah again, and never share the things families do, is heartbreaking.

After we told her youngest son what had happened, he said: “Mummy’s a star now” and asked if she was coming back. We had to stay strong for him but our hearts were breaking.

We will focus on him and his brother, and giving them the love and support they need.

Sarah was loved by so many people and she could communicate with anyone. She had so many achievements in her life.

Justice has been done for her but we will never forget nor ever forgive the man who did this terrible thing. No punishment could ever be enough for what he has done.