28/Jul/2014 - Last News Update: 10:56

David Simmonds jailed for Jia Ashton murder

Category: England

Published: 7th Oct 2011 13:37:19

A man has been jailed for life for murdering a woman as she walked home from work through woodland in Derbyshire.

Jia Ashton, 25, went missing in March after leaving work at Thornton's headquarters in Somercotes in March.

Her body was discovered in nearby Sleetmoor Woods three days later.

David Simmonds, 21, from Heanor, who had admitted murder was told he would serve a minimum term of 27 years and 213 days, at Nottingham Crown Court.

Simmonds had originally denied murder, but changed his plea to guilty on 29 September.

Mrs Ashton's body was found hidden beneath logs and branches.

Police said the economics graduate, from Somercotes, suffered a ferocious attack, which caused the rupture of an atrium in her heart.

The pathologist who examined her body said the type of injuries were only usually found in victims of car accidents.

Simmonds, of Derby Road, was caught after a couple walking their dog saw a man of "possibly homeless appearance" in Sleetmoor Woods on the day Mrs Ashton disappeared.

Officers took fingerprints and DNA samples from people registered homeless in the area, one of whom was Simmonds.

Mrs Ashton was working on a graduate scheme at the chocolate maker's headquarters.

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BBC News, 2011. David Simmonds jailed for Jia Ashton murder [Online] (Updated 7th Oct 2011)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/192097/David-Simmonds-jailed-for-Jia-Ashton-murder [Accessed 28th Jul 2014]

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