Jilted sixth-former who stabbed his ex-girlfriend Ellie Gould, 17, to death after she ended their relationship to focus on her studies tried to inflict ‘educational sabotage’ on her before her murder, review finds
- Thomas Griffiths, 17, admitted murdering Ellie Gould, 17, after she dumped him
- He stabbed her to death, left her in a pool of blood, and then returned to school
- Before leaving he put the knife in her hand to make it seem like she killed herself
- Domestic Homicide Review noted how Griffiths tried to disrupt study attempts
- It added that it was ‘alarming’ how quickly their separation escalated to murder
A jilted sixth-former who stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death after she ended their relationship to focus on school previously tried to inflict ‘educational sabotage’ on her, a review has found.
The Domestic Homicide Review into the murder of Ellie Gould, 17, by Thomas Griffiths, now 20, in Wiltshire in 2019, noted how the killer tried to disrupt Ellie’s study attempts and subjected her to ‘coercive control’.
The review said it was ‘alarming’ how quickly their separation escalated to murder.
No agency failings or shortcomings were identified in the review, although its recommendations included promoting the support available for young people in Wiltshire concerned about domestic abuse or controlling behaviour.
Thomas Griffiths (pictured) tried to disrupt Ellie Gould’s study attempts and subjected her to ‘coercive control’
Ellie, a keen horse rider, bravely attempted to fight off 17-year-old Griffiths after he attacked her with a kitchen knife at her family home in Calne in May 2019, before he staged the scene to make it look like a suicide and returned to school.
The review stated: ‘In this case, the perpetrator appeared to be disrupting Ellie’s studying during an important period of revision, displayed insecurities and appeared to be inducing guilt.
‘Ellie sought a break from the perpetrator during their revision for mock A-level exams, but the perpetrator appeared not to accept this.
‘His disruption of her studies thereafter should be seen within the context of educational sabotage.’
It described educational sabotage as ‘a less known form of coercive control and economic abuse which disrupts a victim’s ability to gain educational qualifications and furthers a perpetrator’s power and control over them’.
It said Ellie would have been able to use ‘the full range of specialist domestic abuse services’ within Wilshire had she wanted or felt the need to.
The review made a number of recommendations, including further raising awareness of indicators of abuse in young people’s relationships for agencies as well as families and friends.
Ellie, a keen horse rider, bravely attempted to fight off 17-year-old Griffiths after he attacked her with a kitchen knife at her family home in Calne in May 2019, before he staged the scene to make it look like a suicide and returned to school
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Cooper, chairman of the Wiltshire Community Safety Partnership, said: ‘Tackling domestic abuse and violence, in all its forms, is every agency’s responsibility and we will continue to work together to ensure we are doing all we can to support victims and educate everyone on this issue.’
Griffiths will serve a minimum of 12 years and six months in prison after admitting murder.
Ellie’s friends have since campaigned for self-defence classes to be part of the school curriculum.