Schoolboy’s chilling texts to explain his injuries after killing girlfriend, 17

A schoolboy who brutally murdered his ex-girlfriend tried to cover his tracks in messages sent to friends while she lay in a pool of her own blood.

This morning Thomas Griffiths was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Ellie Gould at her family home in Calne, Wiltshire, on May 3.

After the brutal attack the then 17-year-old placed her hand on the knife to make it look like suicide.

He then went back to his school and began weaving a web of lies in a bid to cover his murderous tracks.

In one message he sent that afternoon, Griffiths claimed scratches Ellie had made to his neck as she fought for her life were in fact self-harm wounds.

"I know me and Ellie are going on a break but I've been so anxious and nervous about everything lately and I don't know who else to talk to x," he wrote.

"I've also not told anyone this but I've been kind of hurting myself by scratching my neck quite hard x."

The unnamed friend who was quick to send sympathy and described Griffiths as "such a lovely person".

Around the same time that the two friends were communicating, Ellie's dad Matthew walked into his home to find his daughter dead on the floor.

In a victim personal statement read out at Bristol Crown Court this morning, 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 made a second attempt to cover his tracks online hen he posted a selfie overlaid with text.

"I've been so stressed lately and I don't know how to cope with it," he wrote.

"I've been scratching myself around my neck area and as this group has kind of become my best friends I don't know who else to talk to x.

"I'm going to see Ms Todd (the school matron) now and explain everything that's been happening x."

Richard Smith QC, prosecuting, explained how Griffiths had actually come to suffer the scratches.

"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," he said.

Griffiths efforts to distance himself from the brutal killing – which included sending texts to his dead ex-girlfriend's phone – were unsuccesful.

Three hours after Ellie's dad discovered her dead Griffiths was arrested outside his friend's home.

He "lied repeatedly" to police about what had happened, professing his innocence for three weeks.

Griffiths changed his plea to guilty before the start of the trial and was ordered to serve at least 12 years and six months behind bars today.

Sasha Wass QC, representing Griffiths, told the court how he had been under exam pressure and the emotional strain that came with his father's diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

She said the teenager had been in a "state of denial" after the murder.

"Tom, rather than acting as a master criminal, simply wanted to behave as if nothing has happened," she said.

"Within three weeks he accepted what he had done.

"Both families have been devastated by what Thomas Griffiths did. No-one bears that burden more than Tom does."

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

"Ever since that dreadful day, I have tried to come to terms with what I have done," Griffiths wrote.

"All I feel is remorse for Ellie and her family after I took such a special daughter and sister away from them.

"I feel confused and angry at myself at how I was able to hurt someone so special to me and others.

"At the time, my mental health was not good and I wish I had recognised this.

"As well as this, I would like to apologise to my family who are truly devastated by my actions and what happened.

"I have truly let myself down and I hope one day I will be able to explain to myself and others why this happened.

"I'm so sorry. I know my apologies and explanations will never be enough but I hope in time I can show how truly sorry I am."

As Griffith's letter was read to the court, Ellie's mother stared at him and shook her head.

His parents, who were sat near the dock, wept through the proceedings, as did their son.

To read the full report of this morning's sentencing click here .

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