Warwick graduate’s murderer gets life

A MAN who murdered a Warwick University graduate as she walked home from work has been jailed for life.

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

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

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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 later changed his plea to guilty.

Police said Mrs Ashton, who had studied economics at Warwick University and lived in Leamington, had suffered a ferocious attack, which caused a rupture in her heart.

Officers caught Simmonds after taking fingerprints and DNA samples of people in the area.