This is the chilling moment a teenager caught a bus to go and stab his 17-year-old ex-girlfriend Ellie Gould to death – as he was today locked up for life for her murder. 

Thomas Griffiths, now 18, left the knife by Ellie’s neck to make it look like she had killed herself, and then left her in a pool of blood on her kitchen floor while he went back to school. 

After the murder, Griffiths returned to Hardenhuish School in Chippenham, where they were sixth-form pupils, and sought support from a matron as well as sending messages to Ellie’s friends to say he could not get hold of her.

The pair had been going out for several months when Ellie decided to call off the relationship. 

The judge said: ‘For a few months, you had been boyfriend and girlfriend. On about May 2, she had decided to end that relationship. 

‘What matters is that she had called a halt to the relationship as she was perfectly entitled to do. You say you were upset by that. In my view, you were a great deal more than upset.’

The judge said he did not accept Griffiths’ account that he had been studying with Ellie at her kitchen table when they began to argue.

‘You and you alone know exactly what happened that day but what is clear is that at some point, you put your hands around Ellie’s neck and tried to throttle her.’ 

He was told to serve a minimum term of 12 years and six months. 

Thomas Griffiths was seen on CCTV catching a bus home to murder his former girlfriend Ellie Gould at her home in Calne, Wiltshire on May 3

Thomas Griffiths was seen on CCTV catching a bus home to murder his former girlfriend Ellie Gould at her home in Calne, Wiltshire on May 3

Thomas Griffiths was seen on CCTV catching a bus home to murder his former girlfriend Ellie Gould at her home in Calne, Wiltshire on May 3

Griffiths (seen waiting at the bus stop) stabbed Ellie to death after she decided to break up with him

Griffiths (seen waiting at the bus stop) stabbed Ellie to death after she decided to break up with him

Griffiths (seen waiting at the bus stop) stabbed Ellie to death after she decided to break up with him  

Aspiring showjumper and A level student Ellie Gould, who was found dead at her home

Aspiring showjumper and A level student Ellie Gould, who was found dead at her home

Pictured: Ellie Gould, 17, was a keen showjumper and had competed across the country

Pictured: Ellie Gould, 17, was a keen showjumper and had competed across the country

Aspiring showjumper and A level student Ellie Gould, who was found dead at her home

Snapchat messages Griffiths sent to a group after he killed Ellie, which were released today by Wiltshire Police

Snapchat messages Griffiths sent to a group after he killed Ellie, which were released today by Wiltshire Police

Snapchat messages Griffiths sent to a group after he killed Ellie, which were released today by Wiltshire Police 

Another set of messages Griffiths sent to a friend saying he was feeling 'anxious and nervous about everything' following the breakup

Another set of messages Griffiths sent to a friend saying he was feeling 'anxious and nervous about everything' following the breakup

Another set of messages Griffiths sent to a friend saying he was feeling ‘anxious and nervous about everything’ following the breakup 

Ellie’s family and friends packed the public galleries of court room one, with a video link set up in court room four for others to watch the proceedings.

Opening the case for the first time, Richard Smith QC said Ellie and Griffiths, of Derry Hill, Wiltshire had been in a relationship since January 2019.

‘However, in a message sent to friends on social media at 6pm on May 2, Ellie announced that she had split from this defendant and that he had not taken the separation well,’ Mr Smith said.

‘Earlier that same day, Ellie had told her friends that she felt suffocated by Griffith’s attentions.’

Mr Smith said Griffiths had been driven to school on the morning of May 3 by his mother but he had ‘no intention’ of going.

He took a bus home before driving to Ellie’s family home, arriving there at 10.58am and leaving at 11.51am.

Griffiths, 17, admitted murdering Ellie Gould, also 17, at her home in Calne, Wiltshire

Griffiths, 17, admitted murdering Ellie Gould, also 17, at her home in Calne, Wiltshire

Griffiths, 17, admitted murdering Ellie Gould, also 17, at her home in Calne, Wiltshire

‘Griffiths became angry, perhaps by Ellie’s continued rejection of him and he attacked her,’ Mr Smith said.

‘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.’

Mr 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,’ Mr Smith said.

‘No doubt to make it look as though she, Ellie, had inflicted the wounds on herself.’

At 11.45am, a text was sent from Ellie’s phone telling a friend that she was not going to school that day.

After the murder, Griffiths drove home and told a neighbour 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,’ Mr Smith said.

Police today released photographs of the crime scene, including this bag of blood-stained items dumped by Griffiths

Police today released photographs of the crime scene, including this bag of blood-stained items dumped by Griffiths

Police today released photographs of the crime scene, including this bag of blood-stained items dumped by Griffiths 

A pair of shoes that were worn by Griffiths during the murder on May 3, which he was jailed for today

A pair of shoes that were worn by Griffiths during the murder on May 3, which he was jailed for today

A pair of shoes that were worn by Griffiths during the murder on May 3, which he was jailed for today 

Griffiths later asked his neighbour to drive him to school, where he spoke to the matron and sent messages to Ellie’s phone.

He was collected from school from his mother, who later took him to a friend’s house in Chippenham.

At 3pm, Ellie’s father Matthew Gould returned home to find his daughter lying ‘face down in a pool of blood, with the knife in her neck,’ Mr Smith said.

In a victim personal statement, Mr Gould said: ‘The image of Ellie lying there on the floor has haunted me ever since that afternoon.

‘It fills my thoughts when trying to sleep and hijacks my mind when trying to go about my day.’

Griffiths was arrested outside his friend’s home at 6pm and ‘lied repeatedly’ to police, Mr Smith told the court.

Ellie is pictured riding a horse on her beach. Her family said she had a 'huge love of animals'

Ellie is pictured riding a horse on her beach. Her family said she had a 'huge love of animals'

Ellie is pictured riding a horse on her beach. Her family said she had a ‘huge love of animals’

A map shows the killer lived just 2.6 miles away from his victim, who he stabbed to death at her home 

Mr Smith also summarised a victim personal statement from Carole Gould.

‘She had welcomed the defendant into their house, sat him around the dinner table, celebrated a 17th birthday with him and less than three months later saw that he had murdered their daughter,’ he said.

Sasha Wass QC, representing Griffiths, said 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.

Ms Wass read a letter written to the court by Griffiths, in which he apologised for his actions.

He wrote: ‘I have truly let myself down and I hope one day I will be able to explain to myself and others why this happened.’    

Police at the scene in Calne, Wiltshire on May 3 after Ellie's body was found there

Police at the scene in Calne, Wiltshire on May 3 after Ellie's body was found there

Griffiths lived just over two and a half miles away from his victim, in a quiet rural street (pictured) lined with new-build homes that are worth as much as £418,000

Lisa Percy, headteacher of Hardenhuish School, where Ellie studied, said: ‘The whole community at Hardenhuish was completely devastated by the death of Ellie back in May. 

‘Ellie was an extremely popular student in our lower sixth form, who was preparing for her A-Levels the following year.

‘She was popular, friendly and very talented, and understandably her death has hugely impacted on our school. 

‘Her close knit group of friends have shown strength beyond their young years in the months that have followed Ellie’s death, and have supported one another extraordinarily well. 

‘We continue to support our students with the help of partner agencies who have been invaluable to our school during such an unprecedented time. Our thoughts continue to remain with Ellie’s family at this time.’ 

Ellie’s father Matthew and mother, Carole, 48, owned a kitchen fitting business. She is also survived by her 19-year-old brother Ben. 

Thomas Griffiths has pleaded guilty to the murder, which took place in Calne, Wiltshire on May 3 (scene pictured)

Thomas Griffiths has pleaded guilty to the murder, which took place in Calne, Wiltshire on May 3 (scene pictured)

Thomas Griffiths has pleaded guilty to the murder, which took place in Calne, Wiltshire on May 3 (scene pictured)  

In a statement released after the horrific murder in May, her family described her as an animal lover who enjoyed summer holidays to Devon and attending school.

They said: ‘We would like Ellie to be remembered as a kind, caring young lady with a wonderful fun personality.

‘From a young age, Ellie had a huge love for animals.  

‘Ellie loved the Sixth Form at school where she was studying for A levels.

‘She had built up a close group of friends who would often meet up at weekends and do activities such as the Escape Rooms. 

‘She would often ask if the group could meet at our house – ‘It’s just a gathering mum, not a party,’ she’d say.

‘We talked about visits to university open days and apprenticeships within the police force – she wondered if she could get into the mounted police with her riding skills.

‘Whilst she was excited about the next step in her life she also said, ‘But I don’t want the sixth form to end as I love it so much’.

‘Ellie had a lovely relationship with her older brother growing up, they rarely argued as she was fun loving and a joy to be around. 

Ellie Gould’s family’s statement in full  

A statement from the Gould family reads: ‘We would like Ellie to be remembered as a kind, caring young lady with a wonderful fun personality. 

‘From a young age, Ellie had a huge love for animals Every Spring we would visit Lackham during the lambing season, and during the summer holidays we made many visits to animal farms to hold chicks, rabbits and feed baby animals.

‘On her first day at primary school she put holes in her brand new shoes as she spent every playtime playing with her friends crawling around on her hands and knees being a cat.

‘Ellie also loved our summer trips to Devon to stay at our aunt and uncle’s house – she loved their puppy Elsa and whilst the other young cousins were scared of the lively puppy jumping up, Ellie wasn’t and had a wonderful way with animals, calming the puppy and making it do whatever she wanted.

‘Every year from a young age, a pony always featured on her Christmas or Birthday wish lists.

‘As her parents, we tried to get away with buying a hobby horse to run around the garden on. The pleas continued so we adopted an Exmoor Pony, however due to the distance, we could only visit twice a year.

‘Finally we decided as we lived in beautiful rural Wiltshire, we’d buy her a pony – Missy.

‘Missy was white with a long flowing mane and tail, she looked like a unicorn when she was white, although more often than not, she looked brown as she loved rolling in mud.

‘Ellie spent hours brushing her and plaiting her mane and tail. She loved showing her off at local shows in ‘prettiest pony classes’ and was so proud one year to come first at Foxham show in the ‘best family pony class’.

‘Ellie’s natural riding ability improved immensely and in no time she was ready to move onto her next pony – Blackjack.

‘Again, winters and summers she competed in local shows and cross country events. It was nail biting to watch as she would gallop past and fly over enormous cross country jumps.

‘She also spent the summer months often just herself and her beloved Blackjack hacking over Wiltshire’s beautiful countryside.

‘Ellie loved the Sixth Form at school where she was studying for A levels.

‘She had built up a close group of friends who would often meet up at weekends and do activities such as the Escape Rooms. She would often ask if the group could meet at our house – ‘It’s just a gathering mum, not a party,’ she’d say.

‘We talked about visits to university open days and apprenticeships within the police force – she wondered if she could get into the mounted police with her riding skills.

‘Whilst she was excited about the next step in her life she also said, ‘But I don’t want the sixth form to end as I love it so much’.

‘Ellie had a lovely relationship with her older brother growing up, they rarely argued as she was fun loving and a joy to be around.

‘We would like Ellie to be remembered as a kind, caring young lady with a wonderful fun personality.

‘Ellie’s favourite charity was Riding for the Disabled who run activities for disabled children and adults and we ask that any donations in Ellie’s memory are made to this charity so that they can continue with their fantastic work.

‘This is what Ellie would have wanted.

‘Finally, we’d like to thank the community in Calne and Hardenhuish School for their support and comforting words, as well as the police who have provided us with support over the past few weeks.’

DailyMail Online


Leave a Reply