Thomas Griffiths, 18, was just 17 when he stabbed Ellie Gould, also 17, multiple times in her southwest England home in May 2019. The reason for the murder was clear — he wasn't happy that she'd decided to split up with him — and it also provided him with an alibi for a series of wounds on his face and neck that Gould had inflicted on him in self-defense during the attack.
Griffiths told friends that the scratches were a result of self-harm, stemming from not being able to cope with the breakup, which he implied they agreed upon in order to focus on school and upcoming exams. He also cited his father and grandmother being in poor health as added stressors causing him to wound himself.
In reality, he'd left school the morning of the murder, gone to Gould's house, and after strangling her and stabbing her 13 times, set it up to appear that she had killed herself, even going so far as to use her finger to unlock her phone, then text her friends. He then drove back home and disposed of the items he'd used to clean up in a nearby wooded area.
However, police eventually were able to identify the marks on Griffiths' face as classic defense wounds, leading to a 12-and-a-half year sentence behind bars for the cold-blooded slaying.
Griffiths and Gould had only been dating a few months before the murder. Her parents say he was her first boyfriend, and that he didn't seem like a very good match for their fun-loving, "kind and caring" daughter.
"There was just nothing remarkable about him, he was really quiet. He had dinner with us and he didn't have a lot to say for himself. But it was her first boyfriend and we assumed it would fizzle out," Gould's mother told The Sun.
Gould's mom revealed that Ellie had a great group of friends, was passionate about horses and hoped to join the mounted police someday. She noted that her daughter had been spending less time with Griffiths due to concentrating on her exams. When she expressed to her mom that Griffiths was acting out and possessive regarding this, her mother advised her, "you don't want to go out with somebody like that."
"I wish now that I had talked to her more about what she was going to do," her mom lamented.
Ellie Gould was just 17 at the time of her murder. Her parents described her as being full of fun with a nice circle of friends. She was busy with school and upcoming exams when her life was taken.
Thomas Griffiths was Gould's first boyfriend and was reportedly possessive of her time and irritated that she wanted to break up in order to focus on her studies.
Leaving the scene of the crime
Griffiths left his girlfriend's home and proceeded to go back to school as if nothing had happened.
Griffiths tried to cover up the real reason for the marks on his face by explaining to friends that he was stressed by the split, as well as his family's health, and was harming himself as a result.
Griffiths dumped the items he used to clean up the scene of the crime, choosing a wooded area to hide them.
Griffiths wiped off his shoes after the murder, so he would literally not leave any tracks behind.
Griffiths eventually pleaded guilty to the crime and is now sentenced to 12-and-a-half years behind bars.