Mum of murdered Ellie Gould, 17, says she would still be alive if she knew self-defenceby Matthew Dresch, https://www.mirror.co.uk/authors/matthew-dresch/
The mother of a murdered schoolgirl has backed a campaign calling for self-defence classes to be made compulsory in schools.
Thomas Griffiths, 18, stabbed his ex-girlfriend Ellie Gould, 17, 13 times in the neck at her home in Calne, Wiltshire.
He then put the knife in her hand, arranging the scene to make it appear as though she had inflicted the fatal wounds herself.
Griffiths pleaded guilty to murder and was jailed for 12 years and six months at Bristol Crown Court in November.
Her heartbroken mum, Carole, has now voiced her support for a petition - signed by more than 10,000 people - pushing for self-defence lessons to be added to the school curriculum.
She told The Sun: “You would like to think what happened to Ellie is quite rare but you just never know.
“She had tried to escape. There were scratches on his face.
“We teach our children to swim because it’s a life skill. Why not self-defence?”
Carole added that she was not suspicious of Griffiths when he was dating her daughter.
She added that although her husband did not like him because he was quiet, she thought this was expected with a 17-year-old boy meeting his girlfriend's parents.
Griffiths killed Ellie after she broke off their relationship because she wanted to focus on her exams, her mum said.
Her dad discovered her body in a pool of blood in their kitchen.
Ellie's friend, Ellie Welling, added that if her friend knew self-defence she could have potentially escaped with her life, describing the skill as 'life-saving'.
She and some of Ellie's other friends gathered at a bar last week to celebrate what would have been the murdered schoolgirl's 18th birthday.
Ms Welling added that Griffiths was Ellie's first serious boyfriend - and there were no signs he could have been so 'horrendous'.
The petition is being supported by Conservative MP James Gray, who represents North Wiltshire.
"A few of Ellie's friends have been very active and have come to see me several times to try to make positive things happen as a result of Ellie's tragic murder," Mr Gray said.
"Their suggestion that some element of self-defence training should be in all schools is a great idea and I agree with it.
"I think if we can find a way of working self-defence training into PE, that has an obvious advantage.
"I am in discussion with self-defence instructors in the area to see how we can take it forward."
Mr Gray said the lessons would not have to be a lengthy course as just a few basic self-defence techniques could be beneficial.
The petition should receive a response from the Government now it has reached more than 10,000 signatures.
Writing on the petition, on Change.org, Ellie's friends called for one or two self-defence classes to be taught in schools each year.
They launched the campaign ahead of February 6 - which would have been the keen horse rider's 18th birthday.
A spokeswoman for the Department for Education said: "As part of the new Relationships and Sex Education curriculum, pupils will be taught the characteristics of positive and healthy relationships, as well as types of behaviour within relationships that are criminal, violent and include coercive control.
"There are no plans to make self-defence mandatory in the curriculum, but schools have flexibility to provide this should they choose."