East Sussex, England: On Thursday, October 28, 20-year-old Lewis Ashdown stood emotionlessly as Lewes Crown Court Judge Christine Laing sentenced him to at least 27 years for the murder of 18-year-old Marc Williams.
Ashdown pleaded guilty in August to stabbing Marc more than 100 times in the early morning hours of Sunday, May 30, 2021. He additionally pleaded guilty to a charge of having an offensive weapon.
Ashdown had met Marc just six months before the murder after finding a video of Marc doing parkour on the internet. They eventually began meeting in person and on May 29, they texted each other about meeting for a drink.
In advance of that meeting Ashdown purchased beer, whiskey and soda.
According to reports, Marc initially tried to bring his younger brother to the meeting, but when Ashdown learned of his presence, he refused to meet with Marc. Later in the night though, he provided a new meeting location, a wooded area in Fairwarp Field, Uckfield.
Once there, Ashdown provided large amounts of alcohol to Marc, telling him that the beverage was just soda. When he became ill and began to vomit, Mark requested, "Help, help. Can you get me an ambulance? I think I'm dying."
At 11:30 pm Marc placed a call to his aunt saying that he was on his way home. Ashdown could be heard in the background saying, "Don't worry, I'll make sure he gets home okay."
Shortly after that call however, Ashdown launched a "sadistic, gruesome, and horrifying" attack in Marc which left him stabbed 107 times in the face, eyes, neck, head, back, genitals, chest, and right leg.
Ashdown recorded some of the attack, which lasted approximately 40 minutes, on his cell phone, including footage of himself kicking Mark in the head "like a football," and beating him over the head with a tree branch.
After, Ashdown half-stripped Marc and left his body in a stream.
Ashdown then returned home and spoke "normally" with his mother before going out the following day to see "The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It" with another friend, Liam Hanson.
Hanson was shown the videos on Ashdown's phone. "He ripped Marc's eyes out, proper psychotic stuff. I was going into shock. I was shocked how he came out with it. I wanted to run and tell someone."
According to Hanson, Ashdown told him that he said "He'd thought about killing Marc before and wanted to do it. It was horrific. He said he was had he'd done this."
In a victim impact statement read at the sentencing hearing, Marc's mother, Lena Williams said, "One thing I know is evil can never be rehabilitated."
Even Ashdown's defense attorney, Lewis Power QC said there was no way to explain the "horrific, vile and ghastly murder." He continued saying, "The injuries are chilling, terrifying and shocking and the ferocity of the violent acts is simply jaw-dropping."