Ashley Sarsero: Mother witnessed own son being stabbed to death outside their home

The "distraught" mother of a man who was stabbed to death in front of her outside the home they shared says he was a "precious, stunning son".

Claire Richards said Ashley Sarsero, 26, died in her arms in the early hours of 10 September 2023.

James Smith, 36, was sentenced to life imprisonment on Friday for Mr Sarsero's murder, and will serve a minimum term of 28 years behind bars.

He was found guilty of the offence after a three-week trial.

A second man, Steven Morgan, also 36, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail after being found guilty of assisting an offender.

Swansea Crown Court heard Ms Richards had asked Morgan to phone an ambulance for her dying son 18 times before he made the call.

In a victim impact statement read remotely by Ms Richards, she said her life was "no longer the same without my precious, stunning son".

"I was the first person to look into his beautiful eyes when he came into the world and the last to look into them when he left," she said.

"My boy died in my arms after he was stabbed to death by James Smith."

Ms Richards said her son would "light up a room with his contagious smile" and would "live on" through his family.

'Love of my life'

Jade Jones, Mr Sarsero's long-term partner, said in her victim impact statement that her world had been "changed forever".

"Ashley's death has left me vulnerable, exposed, frightened," she said.

"We were planning to get married and have a family, grow old together... he wanted to be a father."

She said Mr Sarsero was the "embodiment of what was right in the world" and that he would "always be the love of [her] life".

"I hope the death of Ashley has not been in vain."

The court heard Smith and Morgan had walked Ms Richards home after she argued with her then partner on a night out.

Mr Sarsero had been at a concert in Swansea with friends when he arrived home at around 4am on 10 September.

"Ashley arrived at his mother's to find you two in the company of his mother," the Judge said.

"You told him that you had no drink or drugs, he told you to f*** off."

The Judge said James Smith "could not take such a blow to [his] fragile ego".

"In the front garden, you produced the knife," he added.

"You threatened to stab Ashley Sarsero to his neck. When Ashley Sarsero went outside, you, James Smith, stabbed him."

'I'm going to die'

The court heard Mr Sarsero had called his mother for help, crying out "Mam, call 999, I've been stabbed, I'm going to die".

The Judge said Smith called Mr Sarsero a "f*****" for "crying to his mammy".

The knife used in the fatal attack has not been recovered, the court heard.

Morgan told Smith to "Run, now" when he was about to call an ambulance.

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In mitigation, it was heard Morgan administered first aid to Mr Sarsero.

"Every instinct in you should have led you to help Ashley, who was bleeding to death in front of his distraught mother," the Judge said.

"You knew, knowing James Smith as you do, that when you told him to leave, that he would do what he could to avoid capture."

Smith was also sentenced to three years in prison for possession of a bladed article in a public place and to 18 months in jail for a previous offence of the same charge. These sentences will run concurrently with the sentence for murder.