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A man has been found guilty of murdering Cristina Ortiz-Lozano in Southampton.
Abdelaziz El Yechioui Ourzat, 29, of King Georges Avenue, has today (Thursday, 18 February) been found guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend Cristina, 28, by a jury at Winchester Crown Court.
Despite admitting responsibility for Cristina’s death and entering a guilty plea to manslaughter at a previous hearing, El Yechioui Ourzat denied murdering her.
The court heard that at around 9.50pm on 21 September 2019, officers were called to a house in Spear Road, Southampton to reports of a man attacking a woman with a knife.
Upon arrival, officers found Cristina’s body lying on the kitchen floor, having suffered multiple stab wounds. She was assessed by paramedics but sadly pronounced dead at the scene.
El Yechioui Ourzat was located in the garden. He was taken to Southampton General Hospital where he was treated for stab wounds to his chest and other minor injuries.
Cristina and El Yechioui Ourzat had been in a relationship for approximately 12 years having met at school in Spain. They moved to the UK just prior to April 2018, initially living in Liverpool before moving to Southampton July 2019.
On Saturday, 24 August 2019, El Yechioui Ourzat was arrested for failing to provide a specimen of breath. He was charged with that offence on Sunday 25 August 2019 which led to an argument with Cristina later the same day (25 August) when he went on to cause criminal damage at the home address. He ripped the wardrobe doors off and threw them out of the window. Cristina called the police and El Yechioui Ourzat was arrested for criminal damage and bailed with conditions not to contact Cristina.
On 27 August 2019, El Yechioui Ourzat went to Spear Road and whilst he did not go to the house, Cristina and her friend saw him in the street. Cristina then received abusive emails from El Yechioui Ourzat and he was later arrested and charged for breach of bail, sending malicious communications and two offences of criminal damage, relating to the incident on 25 August.
He pleaded guilty to sending malicious communications and the two criminal damage charges at Southampton Magistrates’ Court on 29 August 2019 and was bailed by the court with conditions not to contact Cristina. He was due to be sentenced for these offences on 25 September 2019.
A few weeks passed and on the evening of 21 September 2019, Cristina went on a date with a 30-year-old man. They met at Sprinkles in Southampton High Street before leaving at around 7.35pm to go to the Giddy Bridge on London Road. Some-time later, Cristina saw El Yechioui Ourzat come into the pub. He left within a minute but his presence worried Cristina and the pair decided to go back to Spear Road via Southampton Common.
When they arrived at 25 Spear Road, El Yechioui Ourzat was waiting outside of the address. Cristina let herself into the property and El Yechioui Ourzat followed her into the kitchen, where he carried out his brutal attack.
Police were called and officers attended with paramedics, but sadly Cristina was pronounced dead at the scene.
A post-mortem found that the cause of death was multiple stab wounds including to her neck, chest and abdomen.
Following extensive CCTV analysis, officers were able to track El Yechioui Ourzat’s movements prior to his attack.
El Yechioui Ourzat was captured on CCTV following Cristina and the 30-year-old man along Above Bar Street to the Giddy Bridge. He then remained in the area of London Road before entering the Giddy Bridge shortly before 9pm and leaving less than a minute later.
Cristina and the 30-year-old man were then seen on CCTV leaving the Giddy Bridge and walk up London Road towards her home in Spear Road. El Yechioui Ourzat was seen on the footage to follow them up London Road, towards Spear Road where the incident occurred.
Today (Thursday, 18 February), the jury at Winchester Crown Court convicted El Yechioui Ourzat of her murder.
He will be sentenced on 17 March.
Detective Inspector Toby Elcock from Hampshire Constabulary’s Major Crime Team said: “This was a brutal attack on a young woman who had her whole life ahead of her.
“The court heard how El Yechioui Ourzat’s abusive and jealous behaviour culminated in the brutal murder of Cristina. Our thoughts remain with Cristina’s friends and family who are still dealing with this unimaginable loss.”
“Cristina’s death is an absolute tragedy that has left her family and friends devastated. I would like to praise them for the courage they have shown throughout the investigation and the trial. This has been made even more difficult for Cristina’s family because they have had to access the trial from Spain due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I would also like to thank local residents who helped us with our enquiries.
“Hampshire Constabulary is committed to tackling domestic abuse and bring perpetrators to justice. Together with our partners and local domestic abuse charities, we focus on support for victims and provide help to those leaving abusive relationships.
“We also work with partners to reduce incidents of domestic abuse by helping to change the behaviour of perpetrators by referring them to partners who run specific perpetrator programmes.
“We continue to work with regional and national colleagues and share good practice identify the best ways to tackle domestic abuse and safeguard victims.”
Anyone who is facing abuse or harm should call 999. If you’re not in a position to speak press 55 and our controllers will know what to do. We are there for you, please call us if you need us in an emergency.
There are a range of support services on offer to those who are in an abusive relationship and need help, click on this link for details:
Domestic Abuse - Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner (hampshire-pcc.gov.uk)
You can also call Hampshire Domestic Abuse Service on 03300 165112 to get confidential advice.