Pal in total shock at news of Sarah’s holiday tragedy

IPSWICH: An expectant mother is today mourning the loss of a dear friend who should have been her children’s godmother.

Kimberley Coote was a close friend of tragic Sarah Shields, whose body was found off the cost of Gran Canaria last week.

With a daughter on the way, Ms Coote was due to ask 23-year-old Sarah to become the godmother to her ten-month-old son Tyler, but she was lamentably never given the chance. Sarah would have been celebrating her birthday at this weekend.

This is one of the many touching tributes flooding in for Sarah, who was reported missing by her family last Sunday when she failed to return home from the popular Spanish island where she had been on her first holiday with new boyfriend Chris Chittock.

Chittock, 36, is charged with perverting the course of justice and has been remanded in custody. He was bailed on suspicion of Sarah’s murder.

A tribute page in memory of Sarah has been set up on social networking site, Facebook, and among them is a poignant message from her sister Linda Stephenson, who said that her parents were taking comfort from the kind messages from loved ones.

The message from Ms Stephenson states: “Our parents, brothers and I, along with our partners and children, would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has taken the time to post lovely things about Sarah.

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“Mum and dad are taking comfort in reading messages on this page and hearing what Sarah meant to you all.

“Sarah was a beautiful person inside and out and very precious to us and always will be. Love to each and every one of you.”

Ms Coote, 24, from Blyford Way, Felixstowe, was in the same year as Sarah at Copleston High School, where the two formed a strong bond.

She said: “She was such a lovely girl who would do anything for anyone.

“We were part of a close little group at Copleston and I was planning to ask her to be the godmother of my child. I can’t do that now.

“I miss her so much. I just can’t get my head round her being gone.”

Another high school friend, Sarah Old, also paid tribute to Sarah.

The 24-year-old, from Ipswich, said: “I want to remember Sarah as a really happy girl. She was quiet in the first few years of high school but then grew into a really confident person.”

n Do you wish to pay tribute to Sarah? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstar