Teenager jailed for life for murder of Ellie Gould

8 November 2019, 12:03

Teenager Ellie Gould was stabbed to death by her ex
Teenager Ellie Gould was stabbed to death by her ex. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

A teenager has been jailed for life for murdering his ex-girlfriend hours after she broke up with him.

18 year old Thomas Griffiths stabbed his former girlfriend Ellie Gould to death at her Wiltshire home then placed her hand on the knife in her neck to make it look as though she had killed herself, a court has heard.

He stabbed Ellie to death at her home in Calne in Wiltshire on May 3 after she ended their relationship.

He left the 17-year-old lying in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor, where her father discovered her four hours later.

Jailed for life: Thomas Griffiths, 18
Jailed for life: Thomas Griffiths, 18. Picture: PA

After the murder, Griffiths returned to school and sought support from a matron as well as sending messages to Ellie's friends to say he could not get hold of her.

After the murder, Griffiths drove home and lied to a neighbour saying he had self-harmed, with deep scratches to his neck.

"In truth, the injuries to the defendant's neck and to his hand were nothing to do with self-infliction but very much more likely the product of his young victim having fought for her life as she was attacked," prosecutors said.

Griffiths was sentenced today at Bristol Crown Court.

Griffiths, of Derry Hill, pleaded guilty to killing Ellie at her home at an earlier court appearance.

A post mortem showed Griffiths strangled Ellie and used a kitchen knife to stab her multiple times to the neck.

Ellie’s father found her body on the kitchen floor when he returned home from work later that day and emergency services were called.

Det Chief Insp Jim Taylor said: “Ellie was murdered as a result of a violent attack by someone she had previously been in a relationship with for several months.

“Having ended the relationship, Ellie wanted to focus on her education and her hobbies including horse riding which she was extremely passionate about. I am told she had been considering joining the mounted police section in the future and I have no doubt that she would have been a credit to any police force. She was an extremely popular, fun-loving, kind, and gentle girl.

“Griffiths appeared to be a normal 17-year-old boy – like Ellie, he was studying in the sixth form, he had a good circle of friends and a close family.

"There were no warning signs or red flags regarding his behaviour, however, his actions on May 3 were truly unthinkable. The injuries he inflicted on Ellie were horrific. Not only did he end her life in the cruellest way imaginable, he then attempted to cover his tracks by hiding items, washing his blood-stained clothes, and even messaging Ellie’s phone as if nothing had happened.

"In murdering Ellie, Griffiths has destroyed the lives of those who were close to her, none more so than her parents and brother and sister. I’d like to pay tribute to them for the strength they have shown during these most unthinkable times – they have shown the utmost composure during today’s court appearance.

“While I know that this prison sentence will not bring Ellie back, and 12 and a half years no doubt seems insignificant given the severity of this crime and the colossal loss for this family, I hope that in some way it provides them with some form of closure.

“I know Ellie’s friends have been a huge comfort to the Gould family in the months that have followed her death – their admirable commitment to fundraising in Ellie’s name has no doubt provided much-needed focus for the family. I hope they continue to remember Ellie as the bright and caring person that she was.

“Finally, I’d like to thank all the staff and officers involved in investigating this murder and ensuring Griffiths was put before the courts for justice to be served. The thoughts of us all at Wiltshire Police remain with Ellie’s family and friends.”

This story is being updated