A Polish butcher raped and murdered a ‘drunk and vulnerable’ student in an act of sexual violence before putting her body into a river, a court heard today.
Pawel Relowicz, 26, had come across Libby Squire, 21, who was ‘drunk’, ‘likely hypothermic’ and ‘in deep distress’, on a road in Hull and driven her away from safety to a remote playing field, Sheffield Crown Court was told.
Miss Squire’s body was recovered by a lifeboat around seven weeks later after being spotted in the Humber Estuary by the skipper of a fishing boat.
Relowicz denies raping and murdering the philosophy student.
Pawel Relowicz (left), 26, has been charged with the rape and murder of Libby Squire (right), 21
Richard Wright QC, opening the case for the prosecution today, said Miss Squire had ‘seemingly disappeared’ on the freezing cold night of January 31, 2019 after being refused entry to a nightclub.
He said: ‘She was drunk, she was likely hypothermic, and she was in deep distress.
Libby Squire, 21, died in Hull two years ago
‘She had lost her house keys, she was crying, she had fallen repeatedly to the floor as she tried to walk and she was extremely vulnerable.’
Mr Wright told the jury that some ‘good citizens’ tried to help Miss Squire, but she became agitated and they left her by the roadside.
He said: ‘From there she seemingly vanished. One man knew very well where Libby had gone. That man is the defendant, Pawel Relowicz.
‘He lived with his family in a residential street a short distance from Libby’s home and he had come across her, drunk and vulnerable as she was, on Beverley Road, in Hull.’
On the evening of January 31, Miss Squire had drinks with friends and was said to be in ‘good spirits’, but as they walked to The Welly nightclub, she seemed drunk and staff at the venue refused her entry, the court heard.
Mr Wright said her friends put her into a taxi and paid the driver in advance for the fare but, on being dropped near her home on Wellesley Avenue, she fell and landed face first on the ground and walked ‘away from the safety of her front door’ and towards Beverley Road.
Police cut back undergrowth while investigating the disappearance of Miss Squire in 2019
He told the jury that a group of students heard Miss Squire crying outside their house and they let her in but she left, saying that she wanted to go home.
Relowicz, seen in a court artist’s sketch at Hull Magistrates’ Court in October 2019
The barrister said the philosophy student, who would not take her phone with her on a night out because she had smashed too many screens, had dropped her house keys in the garden of the house.
A number of people saw Miss Squire on Beverley Road and were concerned about her condition, describing her as ‘obviously drunk’ and ‘sobbing’, the jury heard.
Mr Wright said two men saw Miss Squire at the side of the road lying in the snow and stopped to try to help her but were unable to understand what she was saying and she became verbally aggressive so they drove away.
The court heard that a woman saw Miss Squire sitting on the floor crying and saying that she wanted to go home and a shop manager saw the University of Hull student, shortly after midnight, sitting on the pavement and appearing to shout ‘don’t leave me’ at a car manoeuvring on nearby Haworth Street.
Miss Squire would not take her phone with her on a night out because she had smashed too many screens, the court heard today
Mr Wright said: ‘Libby was not seen again that evening by any member of the public. She did not return to 32 Wellesley Avenue and would never do so again.’
Mr Wright told the court that Relowicz drove Miss Squire to nearby playing fields at Oak Road – a ‘remote spot’ that he was familiar with and chose ‘so that he would not be disturbed’.
He said: ‘At Oak Road, having exited his vehicle, we say that Pawel Relowicz raped Libby and that he killed her, causing her death during that act of sexual violence, which culminated in his putting her, dead or dying, into the cold waters of the River Hull that bordered the edge of that playing field.
‘It was from there that Libby’s body travelled into the Humber and then out to sea to be recovered by the lifeboat on March 20.’
The trial continues.