Date: 11 Jul 2007
Place: Simone Weil Avenue, Ashford
Ashley Dighton was last seen on 11 June 2007 at the Sainsbury’s Bybrook supermarket in Simone Weil Avenue, Ashford.
He was watched by a security guard as he walked off down a footpath whilst very drunk and drinking from a bottle of vodka.
His headless body was found a month later near the store in some bushes covered with branches.
His inquest in 2008 heard that one of his ribs and his t-shirt had been removed and put into a plastic carrier bag which was found about 100 yards away from his body. His shoes were also found in another area. His body was so badly decomposed that the pathologist could not determine his cause of death and an open verdict was returned at the inquest. A further factor that limited the pathologists' ability to determine the cause of death was the fact that his body had been interfered with. It was noted that someone had removed his clothes whilst he was in an advanced state of decomposition which was considered as really unusual.
His head has never been found. His trousers were also missing and it was noted that some of his upper limbs were also missing.
Police said that they thought that he had been murdered in the wood behind the store where his body was found. They spent three weeks searching the woods for clues.
He had been seen drunk with his friends at the supermarket on the day he vanished.
Ashley Dighton had lived in Nine Acres. He was last seen by his father on 10 June 2007 when he stopped in briefly to change his clothes.
After leaving his home in Nine Acres he had gone to stay at his sisters where he had stayed on the night of 10 June 2007. His sister said that the next morning they had gone with her partner and a friend to Ashford town centre where they bought a bottle of vodka and then later at Lidl's they got another bottle of vodka after which they went to Sainsbury's where Ashley Dighton's sisters ex-partner got some beer. She said that Ashley Dighton went to get another crate but that he didn't have enough money and put it back. His sister said that Ashley Dighton then left the supermarket and that was the last time that she saw him. She said that although he had been drinking she wasn't worried about him and said she thought he would go home to his father's or to his girlfriends.
One of the friends said that they had been drinking vodka that day and admitted that Ashley Dighton was very drunk.
Later a Polish store security guard said that he saw Ashley Dighton on a bench outside the store and noted that he was very drunk. He said that Ashley Dighton was drinking vodka from a bottle in a brown bag but said that he didn't seem abusive or looking to quarrel with anyone and that he had told him that he was going home off along a footpath. The security guard said that he watched Ashley Dighton walk unsteadily down the footpath and that he had followed him for a while. The security guard said that it was a warm, dry sunny day and that he saw no one follow or pass him.
His father had not reported him missing until 21 June 2007 as he had often stayed away at his sisters.
The place where he was found was on his way home from the store.
He had two tattoos', the word SKA on his right arm and a cartoon Tweetie Pie character on his left shoulder.