Judge lifts reporting restrictions allowing press to name teenage schoolgirl killer

Judge lifts reporting restrictions allowing press to name teenage schoolgirl killer

A teenager who admitted killing a schoolgirl Ellie Gould in her own home was named after a judge deemed it would be “reasonable and proportionate” to do so.

Thomas Griffiths, 17, appeared at Bristol Crown Court yesterday to plead guilty to the murder charge.

He was arrested shortly after Wiltshire Police were called to Ellie’s family home in Calne at 3.15pm on Friday 3 May.

Ellie, an A-level student at Hardenhuish School in Chippenham, was pronounced dead from multiple stab wounds.

Judge Peter Blair QC, the Recorder of Bristol, lifted reporting restrictions which prevented the media from identifying Griffiths.

The judge said the teenager, who will be sentenced on 8 November, had admitted an “extremely grave crime”.

He ruled that it was “appropriate, reasonable and proportionate” for him to lift the order and allow Griffiths’ identity to be made public.

An order had been put in place under Section 45 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act in May after Griffiths was charged, banning the publication of his name, address, school or photo until he turned 18.

Griffiths, of Derry Hill, Wiltshire, spoke only to confirm his name and reply “guilty” when the murder charge was read to him.

Speaking after the hearing, temporary Detective Chief Inspector Jim Taylor said: “Ellie was murdered as a result of a violent attack.

“Ellie was in her first year of sixth form and was looking forward to the next steps in her education.

“Her parents have told me that she was considering a career in the police and had been looking into attending university.

“The options available to Ellie were endless but her hopes and dreams will now sadly never be realised.”

Picture: Wiltshire Police/PA Wire



Press Gazette's must-read weekly newsletter featuring interviews, data, insight and investigations.