THIS time last year mum Carole Gould was excitedly looking forward to Christmas and enjoying shopping trips with her teenage daughter Ellie.

But this December Mrs Gould can hardly face the thought of the festive season as her beloved daughter was murdered by her ex-boyfriend Thomas Griffiths in her own home in May.

Instead she is focusing on the Gazette’s campaign to get Griffiths sentence of 12 and a half years extended. She should find out tomorrow (Friday) if the Attorney General has agreed the Court of Appeal can decide if the trial judge was too lenient.

She thanked Gazette readers for their support.

She said: “Ellie loved Christmas. We would go shopping together and have a lovely time. This year it is just something to be endured.

“One of the little things I remember from last year was Ellie in her pinny preparing the sprouts in the kitchen with her brother.”

This is the same Calne kitchen where Griffiths, a fellow sixth former at Hardenhuish School, Chippenham, brutally stabbed Ellie to death and left her to be found by her father.

Mrs Gould said: “It is very difficult to go into that kitchen without thinking about what happened there.”

But the couple refuse to be forced to leave their home and wish instead the Griffiths family would move from nearby Derry Hill so the chance of seeing them is reduced.

On Saturday Mrs Gould travelled from Calne to Bath but realised after she got home that Griffiths’ parents were at Bath Station at the same time.

She said: “I got the 2.15pm train home and a friend told me she had seen them arriving in Bath at the same time. I could so easily have seen them. I don’t know how I would have reacted.”

Mrs Gould has been buoyed by the support from Gazette readers who have emailed the Attorney General’s office to show support for the appeal. But she is not getting her hopes up.

She said: “I keep thinking that we have been let down once by the justice system why should it be different this time.”

She was disappointed this week that a press release written by a senior lawyer at the Crown Prosecution Service and published on its website was changed. It originally said that Griffiths had planned the murder of Ellie and Mrs Gould hoped this would show the Appeal Court judges that premeditation was involved and therefore the sentence should have been longer.

But after she publicised this the CPS changed the wording.

Chief Crown Prosecutor of CPS Wessex, Joanne Jakymec, said: “As soon as we were notified of the error in the press release about the sentencing of Thomas Griffiths, we amended the content to ensure it reflected the accepted facts of the case. We apologise for any distress this has caused to the family of Miss Gould.”