November 08, 2019
A teenager who admitted killing his ex-girlfriend in her own home has been jailed for for life with a minimum sentence of 12 years and six months. 
Ellie Gould Murder: Teenager Thomas Griffiths Jailed For Killing Schoolgirl
Thomas Griffiths, now 18, pleaded guilty to murdering the Ellie Gould, 17, at her family home in Calne, Wiltshire, in May.
On Friday he was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court as judge Justice Graham told him: “The effect of your actions has not only been to snuff out the life of this bright, intelligent, talented and vivacious young woman with her whole life ahead of her, but also to wreak misery and heartbreak on her family and friends.”
Gould, an A-level student at Hardenhuish School in Chippenham, was pronounced dead from multiple stab wounds.Richard Smith QC for the prosecution, told the court Gould and Griffiths had been in a relationship since January but the victim had ended it in May, telling friends she felt “suffocated” by his attentions. 
He added: “A post-mortem examination indicated that Ellie was first incapacitated by pressure having been applied to her neck.
“Thereafter, multiple knife wounds were inflicted. There are at least 13 wounds inflicted, with the knife focused mainly around the area of the left neck.
“The knife that was used to kill Ellie was one that was taken from the family kitchen.”
Smith said Griffiths had attempted to clean up the murder scene with cloths he later hid in a wood near his home.
Blood-staining on an apron suggests Griffiths wiped the knife before placing it back in Ellie’s neck.“The defendant must have placed his victim’s own hand on the handle of the knife,” Smith said.
“No doubt to make it look as though she, Ellie, had inflicted the wounds on herself.”
After the murder, Griffiths drove home and told a neighbour he had self-harmed, with deep scratches to his neck. He then went to school and sent messages to Gould’s phone. 
“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,” Smith said.
Gould’s father Matthew told the court in a personal victim statement that he had returned home at 3pm to find his daughter lying “face down in a pool of blood, with the knife in her neck.”
“It fills my thoughts when trying to sleep and hijacks my mind when trying to go about my day,” he said.
Griffiths was arrested outside his friend’s home at 6pm and “lied repeatedly” to police, Smith told the court.Sasha Wass QC, representing Griffiths, told the court he was an exceptional student who had been made a prefect shortly before the murder. 
He swam at county and international level, and played rugby at county level for Chippenham Rugby Club, she said. She added Griffiths had been under stress after two close family members experienced serious illnesses and was under pressure over the prospect of his forthcoming exams. 
Wass described Griffiths as being “in a state of denial” after the murder. 
“Tom, rather than acting as a master criminal, simply wanted to behave as if nothing has happened,” she said.
“Within three weeks he accepted what he had done.
“Both families have been devastated by what Thomas Griffiths did. No-one bears that burden more than Tom does.”
Wass read a letter written to the court by Griffiths, in which he apologised for his actions and expressed remorse for Gould and her family. 
In it, he said: “I feel confused and angry at myself at how I was able to hurt someone so special to me and others. At the time, my mental health was not good and I wish I had recognised this.”
In August, Judge Peter Blair QC, the Recorder of Bristol, lifted reporting restrictions which prevented the media from identifying Griffiths, who he said had admitted an “extremely grave crime.”
The teenager initially denied having seen Gould that day, or in the days before her death.
Gould’s family previously paid tribute to the keen horse rider and animal-lover as “fun-loving and a joy to be around”.
They added: “We would like Ellie to be remembered as a kind, caring young lady with a wonderful, fun personality.”Related... Alesha MacPhail Murderer Identified As Aaron Campbell Teenager Who Admitted Murdering Ellie Gould Is Pictured For The First Time
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