A teen boy has confessed to murdering schoolgirl Ellie Gould who was stabbed to death her family home.
Thomas Griffiths, 17, admitted killing the A-level student when he appeared at Bristol Crown Court.
Griffiths appears to be sneering in a custody picture released by Wiltshire Police.
He confessed to stabbing Ellie, a Year 12 student at Hardenhuish School in Chippenham, Wiltshire, on May 3.
Judge Peter Blair QC, the Recorder of Bristol, said sentencing would take place on a later date to allow for reports on the defendant to be prepared.
Ellie, also 17, was pronounced dead from stab wounds after emergency services were called to a house on Springfield Drive, Calne, at 3.15pm.
Her family previously paid tribute to the keen horse rider and animal-lover as “fun-loving and a joy to be around”.
In a statement, Detective Chief Inspector Jim Taylor said: "Ellie was murdered as a result of a violent attack.
"Ellie was in her first year of sixth form and was looking forward to the next steps in her education.
“The options available to Ellie were endless but her hopes and dreams will now sadly never be realised.
“On the day Ellie was murdered, officers were able to quickly identify and arrest Griffiths. Although he initially denied having seen Ellie that day, or in the days before her death, he has today pleaded guilty to her murder.
He added: “[Her family] should have been enjoying the school holidays with their daughter, but instead, they are coming to terms with the fact she has been cruelly taken away from them in unthinkable circumstances.
"From what they have told me, Ellie was an extremely popular, fun-loving, kind, gentle and caring girl. Her tragic death has shocked the community of Calne, as well as the many young people and teaching staff at Hardenhuish School, where Ellie was studying.
"Nothing will ever fill the void that Ellie's death will leave in the lives of all those who knew her, but I hope that this outcome, and the upcoming sentencing, provides them with some comfort and enables them to concentrate on remembering Ellie and the many happy memories they have of her.”
Ellie’s family added: “We would like Ellie to be remembered as a kind, caring young lady with a wonderful, fun personality.”
She had represented her school at equestrian events and her family believed she may have wanted to join the mounted police.
Ellie’s family said: “We talked about visits to university open days and apprenticeships within the police force – she wondered if she could get into the mounted police with her riding skills.
“Whilst she was excited about the next step in her life she also said, ‘but I don't want the sixth form to end as I love it so much’.”
The youth's identity was originally protected by the court, but the order was overturned by the press.
Judge Peter Blair QC, the Recorder of Bristol, said it was “appropriate, reasonable and proportionate” for him to lift reporting restrictions that prevented the media from identifying Griffiths.
He told the defendant: “Your case is going to be adjourned for sentence to November 8.”
Griffiths, wearing a white shirt and dark blue suit, was remanded in custody until that date.
DCI Taylor added: “My thoughts, and those of all at Wiltshire Police, remain with them.
"Finally, I'd like to thank all the officers and police staff involved in this investigation – their hard work enabled us to secure an early charge and put this individual before the courts today.”
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