Teenage killers could face longer jail terms after campaign by mother of murdered Wiltshire teenager Ellie Gould

  • Caron Bell previously spoke to Ellie's mother, Carole, about her campaign

Longer jail terms for young killers are expected to be outlined in proposals to reform the justice system, after a campaign led by the mother of a murdered Wiltshire teenager.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland will present the Sentencing White Paper today (Wednesday 16 September), which includes plans to extend minimum sentences for teenage murderers.

Ellie Gould, 17, was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend Thomas Griffiths at her home in Calne on 3 May 2019. Griffiths was 17 at the time and five months away from turning 18.

He was jailed for a minimum of 12 and a half years at Bristol Crown Court in November.

Speaking to ITV's Good Morning Britain ahead of the reform proposals being announced, Carole Gould described his sentence as "woefully inadequate".

Ellie's mum has been tirelessly campaigning for a change in the law ever since her daughter's death. Credit: Family picture

She has been campaigning for a so-called 'Ellie's Law', which could see young offenders treated more like adults if convicted of murder.

Mrs Gould explained the reform would see a "sliding scale" introduced so that the closer a young killer is to 18, the more they are treated like an adult when sentenced.

Twelve and a half years if woefully inadequate as a sentence for a brutal and violent murder on a young, defenceless, young lady.

Carole Gould

According to Mr Buckland, the measures would result in a system that was "fairer, smarter and ultimately better protects the public".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously said they will make it easier for "judges to put dangerous offenders behind bars for longer".

There are several other measures being proposed, including community punishments and the use of satellite monitoring for convicted burglars.

If Ellie's murderer was given a longer minimum sentence it would have been one step closer "to some sort of justice", Mrs Gould told Good Morning Britain.

Mr Buckland said the White Paper is the "first step in a fundamental shift in our approach to sentencing" and will ensure "the most serious violent and sexual offenders get the prison time they deserve".


READ MORE: