Stabbed teenager was a joy to be around, says grieving family
The family of a teenager who died after being stabbed to death have paid tribute to her as people gather for her funeral.
Ellie Gould, 17, died from multiple stab wounds earlier this month at a property in Calne, Wiltshire.
Family and friends attended St Mary’s Church in Calne to pay their respects to the animal-loving schoolgirl.
In a statement, her family said: “From a young age, Ellie had a huge love for animals. Every spring we would visit Lackham during the lambing season, and during the summer holidays we made many visits to animal farms to hold chicks, rabbits and feed baby animals.
“Ellie also loved our summer trips to Devon to stay at our aunt and uncle’s house – she loved their puppy Elsa and whilst the other young cousins were scared of the lively puppy jumping up, Ellie wasn’t and had a wonderful way with animals, calming the puppy and making it do whatever she wanted.”
Ellie’s family said she had long-wanted a pony and they bought her one, called Missy.
“Ellie spent hours brushing her and plaiting her mane and tail,” they said.
“She loved showing her off at local shows in ‘prettiest pony classes’, and was so proud one year to come first at Foxham show in the ‘best family pony class’.
“Ellie’s natural riding ability improved immensely and in no time she was ready to move on to her next pony – Blackjack.
“Again, winters and summers she competed in local shows and cross-country events. It was nail-biting to watch as she would gallop past and fly over enormous cross-country jumps.
“She also spent the summer months often just herself and her beloved Blackjack hacking over Wiltshire’s beautiful countryside.”
The teenager attended Hardenhuish School in Chippenham, where she was studying for her A-levels.
He family added: “She had built up a close group of friends who would often meet up at weekends and do activities such as the Escape Rooms.
“She would often ask if the group could meet at our house, ‘It’s just a gathering mum, not a party,’ she’d say.
“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’.”
Ellie’s family also spoke of her “lovely relationship” with her older brother.
“They rarely argued as she was fun-loving and a joy to be around,” they said.
“We would like Ellie to be remembered as a kind, caring young lady with a wonderful, fun personality.”
A teenage boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been charged with Ellie’s murder.
He has been remanded into custody to next appear at Bristol Crown Court on June 6.