Mothers of murder victims protest outside Parliament calling for tougher sentences

  • Watch David Wood's report here

The mother of a murdered teenager who's calling for tougher sentences for domestic killers says she's doing it "to give her daughter a voice".

Ellie Gould, from Wiltshire, was stabbed to death in her parents' kitchen after breaking up with her school boyfriend, Thomas Griffiths, then 17, in 2019.

Her mother, Carole Gould, has already campaigned to increase sentences for teenage killers, known as Ellie's Law.

Now she helps run the Killed Women campaign, along with Julie Devey, from Frome, whose daughter was also murdered by her partner.

Ellie Gould was killed by her ex-boyfriend at her family home. Credit: Carole Gould

The women gathered outside Parliament on Tuesday 5 December with more than 100 placards displaying messages from families who have lost loved ones due to male violence.

Explaining her placard, Ms Gould told ITV News: "It's what Ellie would have been saying - that I was preparing to go to university and that was taken away from me and my future, my bright future, I had everything to live for, was just stolen because of one person's choice."

The Killed Women group is campaigning for action, laws and policies that protect women from male violence and ensure justice for those whose lives were taken.

Poppy Devey Waterhouse was murdered in 2018 by her ex-boyfriend. Credit: Julie Devey

Julie Devey's daughter, Poppy Devey, was stabbed more than 20 times by her ex-boyfriend Joe Atkinson just days after they moved out of their flat.

He was jailed for 15 years, but Ms Devey wants to see tougher sentences for those who are killed in their home.

She said: "Compared to one stab in the park which carries a 25-year starting point for sentencing, domestic homicides which take place in the home carry a 15-year starting point.

"My daughter's murder - 25 stab wounds and 100 injuries all together with other stab wounds as well - carried a 15-year starting point.

"That's compared to one stab in the park which carries a 25-year starting point for sentencing. The injustice of it is incomprehensible."

On Tuesday 28 November, the Justice Secretary, Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk, launched the government's murder sentencing consultation which is looking to increase sentences for those who killed their partner or used a weapon already at the scene.

Mr Chalk praised the Killed Women campaign at the launch.

Ms Devey said: "Poppy would be incredibly proud that I was putting myself forward.

"It's really hard to keep going over and over it, but the force inside you, the injustice of it, and then meeting other families that have had other injustices, is just incredibly strong and wrong, and so you can' sit back and be complicit."

The women are due to meet with the Ministry of Justice in the new year following the review.

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