THOMAS Griffiths will serve at least 12 years and six months for the murder of schoolgirl Ellie Gould.

The 17-year-old girl’s family remained stony-faced as presiding judge Mr Justice Garnham sentenced Griffiths, now 18, to life imprisonment.

He must serve at least 12 years and six months of his life sentence.

Griffiths, formerly of Lansdowne Crescent, Derry Hill, stabbed ex-girlfriend Ellie Gould at least 13 times in the neck in the kitchen of her Calne home on May 3.

The teen kept his head bowed in the dock at Bristol Crown Court as his sentence was read out.

In a victim personal statement read to the court, mum Carol said: “No mother should ever have to hold the cold hand of a murdered child. Her brutal end plays on my mind constantly.”

Ellie’s dad, Matthew, who found his daughter’s body, said the girl’s death had left him feeling helpless, empty and bitter.

Summarising Mr Gould’s statement, prosecutor Richard Smith QC said: “He simply can’t find the words to express the anguish it has brought on his family.”

Mr Smith said: “Eleanor was a bright, intelligent young lady who had a promising future ahead of her.

“She is variously described as having been a kind, loving and amusing young girl.

“She had a bubbly, beautiful nature. She was funny and intelligent both in and out of her academic studies.”

In a letter to the court, former Hardenhuish prefect and talented swimmer and rugby player Griffiths expressed his heartfelt remorse: “I feel confused and angry at myself about how I was able to hurt someone so special to me and so loving to others.”

Sasha Wass QC, defending, asked the judge to keep the time Griffiths must serve before being eligible for parole to a minimum, citing his early guilty plea and his remorse.

“Both families have been destroyed by what Thomas Griffiths did on May 3 and no one bears that burden more than Tom does,” she said.

The barrister added: “Not a single person who met or dealt with Thomas Griffiths could have imagined in their wildest dreams he was capable of harming anyone – let alone the young woman who he adored.”