Ipswich Man Guilty Of Murdering Girlfriend In Gran Canaria

22 February 2013, 16:40 | Updated: 22 February 2013, 16:47

A court in Gran Canaria has found an Ipswich man guilty of murdering his girlfriend in a 'jealous rage'.

38 year old Christopher Chittock was convicted of killing Sarah Shields by a jury of nine at the Provincial Court in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain.

He savagely beat and strangled the 23-year-old on a beach on the holiday island of Gran Canaria after finding text messages from an ex-boyfriend on her phone, the court heard.

Chittock had denied murder and claimed that Ms Shields had left him for another British holidaymaker called Jason before she died.

His fit of jealousy on July 6 2010 began after he discovered messages exchanged between Ms Shields and ex-boyfriend William Newham, the jury heard. He punched her repeatedly in the bedroom of the holiday apartment where they were staying in the popular resort of Mogan and dragged her in the dark to a deserted beach, punched her to the ground, banged her head against a rock and strangled her to death. Before burning her clothes, he dumped her body in the sea, where it was found the following morning.

The engineer then flew back to the home he shared with Ms Shields in Ipswich, Suffolk.

In a desperate attempt to cover up his crime, he kept his girlfriend's phone and sent texts to her family pretending to be her.

A European Arrest Warrant was issued and he was detained in September 2010 before being extradited to Spain.

He now faces up to 25 years in jail.