Ipswich: Niece of Sarah Shields runs 10k in her memory

ACHING muscles and sore feet are the order of the day for the niece of tragic Sarah Shields today after she ran the London 10k to raise money in her auntie’s memory.

Stacey Stephenson marked the second anniversary of Miss Shields’s death by taking part in the race to raise funds for charity Victim Support, which helps those affected by domestic violence.

She completed the race in an hour and 12 minutes.

Miss Shields’s body was found off the coast of Gran Canaria in July 2010. Her family reported her as missing after she failed to return home from holiday with boyfriend Chris Chittock.

Chittock, 38, was later arrested on suspicion of murdering the 23-year-old and has since been extradited to Spain, where he remains in custody awaiting trial.

Speaking for the first time about losing her beloved aunt, Miss Stephenson said running – a hobby she took up three years ago – had helped her cope with the tragedy.

“The charity has really helped my mum [Sarah’s sister] and my nanny [Angela Shields, Sarah’s mum],” said the 24-year-old.

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“They have provided support and counselling ever since we lost Sarah.

“It is something that leaves you feeling very alone, nobody really understands but having someone like them to turn to, to understand what you are going through, has really helped my family.

“I want to raise awareness and let people know about the work they do.”

Sarah’s family are anxiously awaiting Chittock’s trial, which is expected to take place in Spain in February. Until then, Miss Stephenson, who works for a haulage firm and lives in Neptune Square on Ipswich’s Waterfront, said she will not find closure.

“It is weird. After two years, I don’t really know how I feel. I still don’t think it has sunk in. I think once the trial is out of the way it will hit me. She was only 18 months older than me so we were brought up like sisters. We were best friends.

“I miss hanging out, us mucking around, arguing but always having each other’s back. I miss her.”

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/Stacey-Stephenson0

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