Man in court over murder of company director Sarah Ashwell Joice in cathedral city Wells



A MAN has been charged with the murder of a former advertising agency director found dead in a cottage in cathedral city Wells in Somerset.

The body of 47-year-old Sarah Ashwell Joice (above) was found at her home on the afternoon of Sunday November 7.

Antanas Jankauskas, 38, (below) of Wookey, has been charged with murder and appeared at Taunton Magistrates’ Court today when he was remanded in custody and the case was adjourned until Tuesday at Bristol Crown Court.

More than 100 officers and police staff are working on the investigation into the popular mother's death.

Three other men arrested on suspicion of murder have been released under investigation, although one has been recalled to prison over other matters.

Officers also arrested a fifth man on suspicion of assisting an offender and he has been released under investigation.

Detective Superintendent Gary Haskins said: “This is a large-scale investigation involving over 100 officers and staff from across our service.

“The picture we have built up is of a mother, daughter and friend who was well-known and well-loved and whose loss is deeply felt. Our thoughts are with her loved ones.

“We’re grateful for the support of the community in coming forward with information, but it’s important to say that our work to get justice for Sarah and answers for her family is far from over.

“I’d ask people to continue to support our investigation in any way they can.

“We would however ask the public not to speculate on this case on social media as this could risk prejudicing the legal process now under way.”

Ms Ashwell’s family said they are “absolutely devastated” and “utterly heartbroken” by her death.

In a statement, they said: “Sarah had so much of her life still to live. It is unbearable for us to think that this has been taken away from her and that she has been taken away from us.

“We are incredibly touched by the many kind and loving tributes that have been posted on social media by friends and loved ones in the last few days.

“It is a comfort for us to be reminded how well loved she was and that so many people had such affection for her.”