DEVASTATED mother Carole Gould today appeals to Gazette readers to back her campaign to get justice for her daughter Ellie, 17, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend.

Thomas Griffiths, now aged 18, but crucially 17 at the time of Ellie’s death on May 3 was jailed for 12 and a half years after admitting murdering Ellie at her home in Calne.

Mrs Gould has launched a bid to get his sentence increased and is desperate for as many people as possible to write to the Attorney General’s office to back her before a decision is made on December 6.

She said: “Because Griffiths pleaded guilty the judge did not hear all the evidence that showed his actions were premeditated.

“If the judge had accepted this the sentence would have been much longer.”

She has been buoyed by an article about the case written by a lawyer working for the Crime Prosecution Service which clearly states that Griffiths had planned the killing.

Mrs Gould revealed this week that if she had known that Griffiths, who was a fellow sixth former with Ellie at Hardenhuish School, Chippenham, was going to get such a lenient sentence she would have preferred for him to have pleaded not guilty so all the evidence was heard.

She said: “Originally I was pleased that he pleaded guilty as I thought it would be easier not having a long trial but now I wished he had pleaded not guilty. He only changed his mind at the last minute when he realised how much evidence there was against him.

“But it meant that the judge took into account his guilty plea when sentencing and that was another reason he only got 12 and a half years.”

The sentence was also reduced because of Griffiths’ age as he was treated as a juvenile even though by the time he came to court he was an adult.

Mrs Gould said: “We were devastated when the sentence was passed down and feel completely let down by the British justice system.

“It just doesn’t seem right that a young girl can be sitting at home revising for her A-levels and somebody can come in and brutally murder her - and the perpetrator’s punishment is 12 and a half years. How is that ever, ever justice?”

She said the legal process was a crazy system where under-18-year-olds have the same starting point as younger children. She said: “There’s a huge difference between a 10-year-old and an 18-year-old. And really, the laws need to be changed.”

Mrs Gould believes that evidence given to the court about Griffith’s actions on the day he killed Ellie shows that he planned his attack and went to great lengths to cover up his crime by sending made up texts after he had killed her.

She points to the fact that when he arrived at Hardenhuish School on the Friday morning to find Ellie was not there he got onto a 55 bus. But instead of getting off in Calne to go to Ellie’s home as he would have done if he had wanted, as he said, to revise with her he instead went back to his home in Derry Hill.

She said: “When his mother came home he hid in the wardrobe. Why would he do that? I don’t think he wanted her to know he was there and that was all part of his plan and shows premeditation.

“He had been told by Ellie’s friends that she was going into school after lunch and so he realised time was running out and so that was why he took the family car even though he had not passed his test.”

She is also upset that the judge reduced the sentence because of his father recently being diagnosed with cancer and his grandmother being unwell. The judge also mentioned exam stress.

Mrs Gould said: “These are all things that are part of a lot of teenagers lives but they do not kill someone.”

Mrs Gould has called on local MPs for support including Swindon South MP Robert Buckland who Lord Chancellor.

She said: “It seems to me that since the General Election was called most of the local MPs have not done as much as they might to have helped.”

She thanked Chippenham MP Michelle Donelan for taking a keen interest in the case and helping to have a meeting with the Home Secretary which took place on September 9.

She said: “It would be nice if we had full support from all the Wiltshire MPs.”

Mr Buckland said: “My heart goes out to the family. At the moment I am unable to do anything as it is under review by the Attorney General. Once a decision is made I will meet the family and do anything I can to help.”