Slasher fan recorded himself stabbing pal 100 times then watched horror film

A chef has been sentenced to a minimum of 27 years behind bars after brutally stabbing his friend more than 100 times before going to the cinema to watch a horror film.

20-year-old Lewis Ashdown from Uckfield, East Sussex, got 18-year-old Marc Williams drunk before luring the teen to woodland and launching a "frenzied" attack, during which he gouged his eyes and stabbed his genitals.

Ashdown pleaded guilty to murder and possession of an offensive weapon at Lewes Crown Court yesterday.

After handing him the lengthy sentence, Judge Christine Laing described the attack as "one of the savage, sustained and merciless murders" she'd dealt with.

The court heard how the pair had agreed to meet for a drink on May 29, but Ashdown did not "feel comfortable" when he learned that Williams' younger brother was coming too.

He instead met Williams in a field much later and encouraged him to drink lots of whisky mixed with coke after telling him it was just coke.

Williams quickly became paralytically drunk and rang his aunt Emma, who he lived with, to say he was coming home. During the call Emma heard Ashdown say "don't worry, I'll make sure he gets home okay".

Minutes later Ashdown launched the "sadistic, gruesome and horrifying" attack, first stabbing him in the back before inflicting a further 106 stab wounds all over his body in just 40 minutes.

After filming himself slashing and beating the life out of his friend, Ashdown dumped the body in a stream and returned home where he spoke "normally" to his mum.

The next day, the court heard, Ashdown invited a second friend, Liam Hanson, to watch The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It at the cinema, a horror film in which a killer possessed by a demon brutally stabs someone to death.

The pair then got drunk and Ashdown confessed to what had happened the day before, all while Williams' family and friends were helping police in a desperate hunt for the teen.

Hanson told police: "He said he felt good about what he had done and Marc had deserved to die. He'd thought about killing Marc before and wanted to do it. It was horrific. He said he was glad he'd done this."

He said that Ashdown showed him the seven horrific videos he'd taken of the murder.

"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," he added.

Marc's mum, Lena Williams, also spoke in court and described how she felt like "pieces of my very soul were being stripped away".

His dad, Ian Williams, said in a statement: "What evil creature could do this to another person? To stab him so many times, then going home and off to work like nothing happened. All these actions make me feel physically sick."

Lewis Power QC, defending, admitted that nothing could explain the "ghastly murder", adding that "the ferocity of the violent acts is simply jaw-dropping".

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