Wiltshire

Ellie Gould murder: Thomas Griffiths' sentence not increased

Thomas Griffiths Image copyright Wiltshire Police
Image caption Thomas Griffiths was 17 when he killed Ellie in her family home

A teenager who stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death will not have his 12-and-a-half year sentence increased.

The family of Ellie Gould, 17, had called for a tougher sentence for Thomas Griffiths, who was also 17 when he murdered her at her home in Calne, Wiltshire, in May.

The Attorney General ruled he could not refer the case to the Court of Appeal as the sentence was not unduly lenient.

Ms Gould's family said they were "bitterly disappointed".

Last month, Griffiths admitted stabbing Ellie repeatedly in the neck in a "frenzied attack" before trying to make it appear her wounds were self-inflicted.

The court heard Griffiths spent an hour at the house before he drove home, changed his clothes and dumped a bag of Ellie's items in a wood.

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Ellie's family said they were "bitterly disappointed" the sentence would not be increased

His case was referred to the Attorney General's office under the unduly lenient sentence scheme which received "in excess of 101" referrals asking him to examine the prison term handed down by Bristol Crown Court last month.

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

They said a referral could 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," it said.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Ellie's body was found at a house in Springfield Drive, Calne

Following the decision, the Gould family said they were disappointed that "once again the British justice system has not only let us but also the nation down".

"When the Attorney General quotes in his letter to us that Griffiths' crime not only shocked him, but also the nation, yet doesn't feel it is appropriate to refer it to the Court of Appeal to have the lenient sentence reviewed, there is something very wrong with criminal justice in Britain today.

"All we can do as a family is fight Griffiths' parole when the time comes, to keep such a dangerous individual off Britain's streets and keep the public safe."

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