1. ITV Report

Thomas Griffiths given life sentence for murdering Calne teenager Ellie Gould

Griffiths pleaded guilty at a previous court appearance and was today sentenced to life in prison Credit: Wiltshire Police

Teenager Thomas Griffiths has been given a life sentence for killing his ex-girlfriend in what was described by the judge as a "frenzied knife attack".

Ellie Gould was murdered in her home in Calne in May after ending the relationship with her boyfriend of three months.

Griffiths, now 18, pleaded guilty to killing Ellie at a previous court appearance, and was today [November 8] sentenced to at least 12 and a half years in prison at Bristol Crown Court.

Ellie had ended the relationship to focus on her studies Credit: Fmaily photo

On the morning of May 2, Griffiths left school after being dropped off by his mum. He then used the family car to drive to Ellie's home in Calne despite not having a driving licence.

A post mortem later showed Griffiths strangled 17-year-old Ellie and used a kitchen knife to stab her 13 times in the neck and face.

Griffiths returned to school after murdering the teenager, having dumped blood-soaked cloths he'd used to clear up the murder scene in a nearby wooded area.

He sent Ellie several messages to cover his tracks. He also used social media to leave a trail of cover ups. On Snapchat he told friends that scratches on his neck - indicating Ellie's struggle for her life - were due to self-harm.

These attempts were described by Mr Justice Garnham, as "not remotely sophisticated and were never going to work".

Ellie's dad found her body when he returned from work later that day and called the emergency services. He described the moment as "the most frightening, horrific and saddest scene I have ever witnessed".

Griffiths returned to school after the violent attack Credit: Wiltshire Police

Wiltshire Police have paid tribute to Ellie's family, friends and school.

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.

– Det Chief Insp Jim Taylor