Ellie Gould: Teenage murderer will not have sentence extended after appeal from parents

A teenager who murdered his former girlfriend will not have his prison term increased after the victim’s family claimed there was “no justice” in his 12-and-a-half year sentence.

Thomas Griffiths stabbed Ellie Gould to death at her Wiltshire home before returning to school – having attempted to make her wounds look self-inflicted.

However after outcry from Ms Gould’s parents over the length of his sentence, the Attorney General has said the 12-and-a-half years behind bars handed to the teenager was not an unduly lenient punishment.

Download the new Indpendent Premium app

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

A spokeswoman said: “After careful consideration the Attorney General has concluded that he could not refer this case to the Court of Appeal.

“A referral under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme to the Court of Appeal can only be made if a sentence is not just lenient but unduly so, such that the sentencing judge made a gross error or imposed a sentence outside the range of sentences reasonably available in the circumstances of the offence.

“The threshold is a high one, and the test was not met in this case.”

Griffiths, now 18, immediately started attempts to cover up the murder on 3 May, sending messages to Ellie’s friends claiming he could not reach her and seeking support from a school matron.

Her father discovered her body in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor at their family home in Calne, Wiltshire.

Griffiths had placed Ellie’s hand on the knife in her neck in an attempt to make the wound look self-inflicted.

Ellie’s father, Matthew Gould, returned home from work at 3pm to discover his daughter’s body in the kitchen.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

Mr Justice Garnham told Griffiths: “There can be no more dreadful scene for any parent to contemplate than that which confronted Ellie’s father when he came home that day from work.”

He was arrested at a friend’s house and initially denied any involvement in Ellie’s death – but later admitted to the murder.

Following the court case, Ellie’s parents launched a campaign for Griffith’s sentence to be reviewed.

In an interview with the BBC, Mrs Gould said: “We were devastated when the sentence was passed down and feel completely let down by the British justice system.

“It just doesn’t seem right that a young girl can be sitting at home revising for her A-levels and somebody can come in and brutally murder her – and the perpetrator’s punishment is 12 and a half years.

“How is that ever, ever justice?”

Comments are closed.