max temp: 13°C

min temp: 12°C


Ipswich/Gran Canaria: Murder accused ‘acted as normal when he returned alone’, Sarah Shields’ father tells court

12:09 21 February 2013

Sarah Shields with parents Angela and David

Sarah Shields with parents Angela and David


SARAH Shields’ father has told a court how her allleged murderer acted normally when he returned from their holiday alone.


David Shields had arranged to pick his daughter and her boyfriend Chris Chittock up from Stansted Airport when the came back from Gran Canaria in July 2010.

Mr Shields, of Ipswich, told Las Palmas Provincial Court: “Chris told us in the car Sarah had met someone called Jason who was a maintenance chap she got friendly with and he had ended up spending most of his time going down for his meals alone or sitting on the veranda.

“He sat on the back seat of the car and acted normal.

“We saw him again a couple of days later when he visited us. He said he was worried about if we had heard from Sarah.”

Chittock, 38, denies murdering Miss Shields, whose naked body was found in the sea on July 7, 2010.

The 23-year-old, who lived with Chittock in Alnesbourn Crescent, Ipswich, had been badly beaten and strangled to death.

Mr Shields also told the court Chittock was due to start community service after returning from holiday for a domestic assault on his daughter a month earlier.

Police were called to the pair’s Ipswich home on June 5, 2010, around a month before they left for Spain.

Mr Shields said: “Sarah told us she hadn’t given Chris her full attention at a party and she got hit.

“I told her afterwards there was always a bed in our house but she told me it was a one-off thing and went back to Chris.”

Miss Shields’ family became worried about her when she did not return with Chittock. They reported her missing after realising the ring tone on her phone was no longer a foreign ring tone.

Her mum Angela, giving her evidence behind a screen so she did not have to see her daughter’s alleged killer, told the court the messages she received from Miss Shields’ mobile on and after July 7, 2010 were “different” to earlier texts.

Miss Shields’ body was discovered just after 7am on July 7 2010.

Angela said: “One I received on the afternoon of July 7 said she had finished with Chris.

“After July 7 I got another message saying she had met a man called Jason at the hotel. She described him as an electrician and said he was English.

“I honestly didn’t think she would do something like it. I knew it wasn’t her normal behaviour.

“The last message I received from Sarah’s phone was on Sunday July 10 the day Chris was flying home.

“It simply said: “I’m fine, the weather’s fine, couldn’t be better.”

Miss Shields’ best friend Sarah Clarke told the court Chittock had spent the night in a police cell over the June 2010 domestic incident.

She said: “Sarah told me Chittock had pushed her and she had knocked her head and the side of her leg on a radiator.

“I advised her not to go back to him but she insisted it wouldn’t happen again.

“When I found out they were going to Gran Canaria on holiday together I told Sarah I was scared that with alcohol Chris would get violent.”

The trial continues.



Ipswich Crown Court.

An Ipswich woman whose sex assault allegations led to the discovery a convicted paedophile deported 11 years ago was back in the UK and working with vulnerable teenagers has broken her silence.

Sudbury silk will now be given special European protection from imitation thanks to laws championed this week by local Suffolk Euro MP Richard Howitt. The Suffolk Euro MP at Vanners Silk Weavers with chairman David Tooth.

It has graced the homes and bodies of celebrities ranging from Michelle Obama to members of the Royal family, but up until now ‘Sudbury silk’ has remained a relatively well-kept secret.

Broomhill Swimming Pool in Ipswich has received a Heritage Lottery Fund grant. L-R: Robyn Llewellyn (head of Heritage Lottery Fund - East of England), Cllr Bryony Rudkin, Tim Mills, Garath Jones and Mark Ling.

Broomhill pool in Ipswich could reopen to the public at Easter 2018 – its 80th anniversary – after its re-opening proposals got the backing of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

A car on Brackenwood Crescent has rolled into a house  causing minor damage.

A bearded dragon narrowly escaped unharmed, if a little bit shaken, after a car slammed into the front of a house in Bury St Edmunds earlier today.

The entrance to PPG Industries in Stowmarket. (File image from 2012)

Two males believed to be from Afghanistan have been arrested on immigration offences in Stowmarket this morning.

Airman 1st Class Darren Phillips, 48th Equipment Maintenance Squadron crew chief at RAF Lakenheath, who died in a motorcycle accident

A memorial service for a 20-year-old US Air Force airman who died after a crash near Barton Mills is being held.

Woodbridge Shuck Shellfish Festival

If you’d like to treat your tastebuds this weekend, you’re in the right place.

Dr John Ashdown-Hill from Lawford is made an MBE by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.  Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

A historian who was instrumental in the discovery of Richard III’s remains has today been presented with an MBE.

Miss Teen Suffolk Emma Collingridge who is opening Framlingham Sausagefest, with orgainsers Jenny Stockman and Richard Harrison.

Organisers behind Framlingham’s annual SausageFest have said they are expecting a record number of visitors to the event tomorrow.

Police are investigating the incident

Police have issued CCTV images of three people they are keen to identify following a theft from a Co-op supermarket in Felixstowe

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages