Ellie Gould: Murdered girl’s friends call for self-defence lessons

Ellie GouldImage copyright
Family handout

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Ellie Gould was murdered by her ex-boyfriend at her home

The friends of a teenager who was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend are campaigning for self-defence lessons to be taught in schools.

Ellie Gould, 17, was killed by Thomas Griffiths who was jailed for life for her murder in November.

Her friend Tilda Offen said if Ellie had “just known the simplest technique to get him off her she would still have her life”.

North Wiltshire MP James Gray is supporting their campaign.

He said he intended to raise the idea in Parliament.

Griffiths, 17, admitted stabbing Ellie repeatedly in the neck in a “frenzied attack” in May before trying to make it appear her wounds were self-inflicted.

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

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Ellie’s friends and her mother (second from left) are campaigning for self-defence to be taught in schools

Ellie’s family has called for his 12-and-a-half year sentence to be increased but this was turned down by the Court of Appeal.

A group of her friends and her mother Jane Gould have also called for more education on healthy relationships and warning signs of coercive control.

“That’s why I do believe that self-defence is such a big thing that needs to be introduced in to our school systems because it could give a potential victim a chance of being able to escape their attacker,” her friend Tilda said.

Another close friend, Harriet Proud, added: “When Griffiths comes out after his mere 12 years in prison, he’s going to have a second chance at life and a whole other life to re-start and our Ellie isn’t going to because of his actions.

“With us pushing for self-defence classes to be mandatory part of Physical Education we like the idea that we are preserving and helping to protect other young, vulnerable people.”

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Wiltshire Police

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Thomas Griffiths was 17 when he killed Ellie in her family home

Mr Gray, who is the Conservative MP for North Wiltshire, said there was “no routine self-defence training in the national curriculum and you could do it at a very basic level”.

“You’re not talking here about judo, just basic self defence techniques,” he said.

“If that was taught to all kids all the way through school then it would significantly reduce crime because the potential criminal, murder or rapist would realise he would have met his match.


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