May 24 2013 Latest news:
by Colin Adwent
Monday, February 18, 2013
A JEALOUS engineer became enraged and strangled his girlfriend during their summer holiday because she had texted her ex-boyfriend, a court has heard.
Christopher Chittock used his hands to throttle Sarah Shields on a deserted Gran Canaria beach.
He flew into a rage when he discovered texts to an ex-boyfriend on her phone, the court in Las Palmas was told.
During today’s opening of Chittock’s trial the jury heard the 38-year-old killed Miss Shields on July 6, 2010, after discovering a text to ex-boyfriend William Newham saying: “I wish you could be here with me.”
Chittock burned the 23-year-old’s belongings but flew back to their flat in Alnesbourn Crescent, Ipswich, with her mobile.
He then messaged her friends and family pretending to be Miss Shields claiming she had stayed in Spain with a new lover, prosecutors said.
Divorced dad-of-one Chittock, 38, was arrested when Spanish police identified her body three days after returning to the UK.
It is alleged Chittock hit Miss Shields several times in the apartment while verbally abusing her, after discovering she had been in touch with Mr Newham.
State prosecutor Beatriz Sanchez said: “Then he took her to a dark, deserted beach opposite their holiday complex and with the aim of ending her life, punched her repeatedly in the face until she fell to the ground, causing her injuries including a broken nose.
“After he sat on top of her and began to smash her head on the stones on the beach.
“While she was still alive but weakened and stunned, he took advantage of her defencelessness and began to strangle her with his bare hands until she stopped breathing and died.”
Sarah’s naked body was pulled out of the Atlantic Ocean near the couple’s holiday apartment in the popular resort of Mogan 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.
State prosecutors accused him at the Las Palmas Provincial Court of sending a series of incriminating text messages to her friends and family from her mobile after she was found dead to try to cover up his crime.
One, sent to her mum Angela as Miss Shields’ unidentified body was lying in a morgue, claimed she planned to stay on Gran Canaria with a new boyfriend and said: “I’m going to miss my dog.”
Police used satellite technology to track Miss Shields’ and Chittock’s mobile phones.