Ipswich: Fears raised over jail time of Sarah Shields murderer Christopher Chittock, as it emerges he is now in UK prison

Christopher Chittock

Christopher Chittock - Credit: Archant

The family of Sarah Shields today made an impassioned plea for information as it was revealed her murderer has returned to the UK to serve his sentence.

Sarah Shields

Sarah Shields - Credit: Archant

Miss Shields’ loved ones are concerned Christopher Chittock’s jail term will be dramatically reduced now he is back in a British jail.

The 23-year-old was strangled to death by her boyfriend while on holiday in Gran Canaria in 2010. He then dumped her body in the sea.

Chittock was sentenced to 24 years’ imprisonment last year after being convicted of her murder in Spain.

He had been remanded in custody since his arrest by Suffolk Constabulary after the Shields’ family went to police when Miss Shields failed to return from their holiday.

It is understood Chittock, who lived in Alnesbourn Crescent, Ipswich with Miss Shields, has been in a UK prison since the end of July. However her family say they have received no information about the category of the jail the 40-year-old is in.

After discussions with the authorities, they also fear he could be out on licence in as little as nine years.

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Mum Angela, of Ipswich, said: “Our daughter is in that grave and it is so upsetting. It doesn’t seem right. It doesn’t seem real that he could be out in 2023.

“The main problem is him only having nine years inside and he has taken our daughter’s life. That is why we are really upset.”

During Chittock’s trial on the Spanish island, the court was told the engineer broke Sarah’s nose, smashed her head against rocks and throttled her.

When he returned to the UK, he told Sarah’s family she had left him for an English expat she met on holiday.

Continuing the charade, he then sent text messages from Sarah’s phone to family and friends pretending to be her, telling them she was staying in Spain.

Suffolk police arrested Chittock after Sarah’s older brother, Paul Davis, reported her missing when he discovered her mobile phone was in the UK after ringing it and getting a UK dialling tone.

Speaking of the family’s fears over Chittock’s sentence, Mr Davis added: “It just seems the criminals are protected and the victims of crime are the ones who are not.

“People need to be aware of it. It wasn’t as if he accidentally killed her, it was calculated.”

While the category of prison Chittock is currently being housed in is not known, The Star understands it is extremely unlikely he is in open prison conditions.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said the department does not comment on individual cases.