Clothes were taken from body

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

A CORONER has recorded an open ver­dict at an in­quest into the death of Ashley Dighton, whose head­less body was found near an Ash­ford su­per­mar­ket.

The 19-year-old, from Nine Acres, Ken­ning­ton, was found in scrub­land be­hind Ash­ford’s Sain­bury’s store 18 months ago.

But mys­tery still sur­rounds when and where the teenager died.

De­spite a detailed po­lice mur­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion no­body has ever been charged, but coroner Rachel Red­man made it clear at last Thurs­day’s in­quest that in­ves­ti­ga­tions are on­go­ing.

Det Ch Insp David Withers, said: “We can­not say how Ashley died but the ev­i­dence sug­gests some­one at­tempted to cover the body with branches, and had re­moved clothes from his body while it was in an ad­vanced stage of de­com­po­si­tion.”

He said of­fi­cers had found a car­rier bag with his T-shirt and a miss­ing rib from his body in an­other bag 100 me­tres away from the re­mains and his shoes in an­other area, but his trousers had never been found.

Up to 100 of­fi­cers car­ried out finger­tip searches in a hunt for ev­i­dence af­ter the re­mains were found on July 11 last year.

Pathol­o­gist Dr David Rouse, who at­tended the scene, said the head and some limbs were miss­ing from the de­com­posed re­mains and he was un­able to as­cer­tain the cause of death.

Ashley’s fa­ther Am­brose Dighton said the last time he saw his son was when he made a brief visit to the fam­ily home to change his clothes on Sun­day, June 10.

He said he had not re­ported his son miss­ing un­til June 21 as Ashley of­ten stayed with his sis­ters.

Amanda Dighton told the court her brother had stayed at her home on the night of June 10 with her then part­ner Liam Walsh and Ja­son Farmer.

The next morn­ing they all trav­elled into the town cen­tre.

The four young peo­ple were go­ing to the War­ren Re­tail Park.

She said: “At Sains­bury’s Liam, my ex, got beer and Ashley wanted an­other crate but he put it back as he didn’t have enough money. He went out­side and that was the last time I saw him.

In a state­ment to the po­lice, Liam Walsh said he and Ashley had been drink­ing vodka dur­ing the morn­ing and ad­mit­ted Ashley was very drunk.

Pol­ish store se­cu­rity guard Lu­cas Brezezin­ski said that he had seen a very drunk youth out­side the shop who he had iden­ti­fied from pho­to­graphs as Ashley.

He added: “He said he was okay as he sat on a bench and that he was go­ing back home down the foot­path.

“He was not abu­sive or looking to quar­rel with me. He walked off and I fol­lowed be­hind and watched as he un­steadily went down the foot­path and out of sight. It was a warm, dry sunny day and no one fol­lowed or passed him.”

Am­brose Dighton - Fa­ther

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