Breaking: Christopher Chittock found guilty of murdering Sarah Shields in Gran Canaria
PUBLISHED: 15:49 22 February 2013 | UPDATED: 16:36 22 February 2013
AN IPSWICH man has been found guilty of murdering his girlfriend Sarah Shields in Gran Canaria in 2010.
Christopher Chittock, 38, of Alnesbourn Crescent in Ravenswood was convicted by a Spanish jury in the island’s capital of Las Palmas today.
The engineer strangled the 23-year-old during their summer holiday in July 2010.
Using his hands, Chittock throttled Sarah, on a deserted beach close to where they were staying in the resort of Mogan.
He then dumped her body in the sea off the southern coast before burning her belongings.
Chittock flew back to the couple’s home in Ipswich – after Sarah’s parents picked him up from Stansted – with her mobile phone.
He then messaged her friends and family pretending to be Sarah, pretending to be her and claiming she had stayed in Spain with a new lover.
Chittock has been warned he faces being sentenced to at least 20 years in prison.
Divorced dad-of-one Chittock was arrested when Spanish police identified her body three days after returning to the UK.
Chittock hit Miss Shields several times in the apartment while verbally abusing her, after discovering she had been in touch with her ex-boyfriend Will Newham.
He took her to a dark, deserted beach opposite their holiday complex, punched her repeatedly in the face until she fell to the ground, causing her injuries including a broken nose.
Her head was smashed against stones on the beach before Chittock strangled her with his bare hands.
Sarah’s naked body was pulled out of the Atlantic Ocean near the couple’s holiday apartment early on July 7, 2010.
Chittock flew back home three days later after allegedly burning a suitcase with all her personal belongings, except her phone, on a bonfire.
He was extradited to Spain in September 2010 and charged with Miss Shield’s murder.