Libby Squire murder trial: Butcher raped student and dumped body in river, court told

Pawel Relowicz approached 21-year-old after seeing her ‘drunk, hypothermic and in deep distress’ following night out, prosecutors say

Colin Drury
North of England Correspondent
Tuesday 12 January 2021 19:06 GMT
New insight comes as more than 200 vounteers and 70 police officers continue search for 21-year-old
New insight comes as more than 200 vounteers and 70 police officers continue search for 21-year-old

A Polish butcher raped and murdered a "drunk and vulnerable" student before throwing her body into a river, a court has heard.

Pawel Relowicz approached 21-year-old Libby Squire when he saw her intoxicated, shivering and “in deep distress” after she had been refused entry into a Hull nightclub, jurors were told.

The father-of-two drove his victim to an isolated playing field where he raped her before dumping her in the adjacent River Hull, it was said. The youngster may have still be alive when she was thrown into the water.

Her body was only recovered seven weeks later after being spotted in the Humber Estuary by the skipper of a fishing boat.

Relowicz, of Raglan Street, Hull, denies raping and murdering Squire.

Richard Wright, prosecuting on the opening day of the trial on Tuesday, said the philosophy student had "seemingly disappeared" on the freezing cold night of 31 January 2019 after being refused entry to The Welly nightclub.

He said: "She was drunk, she was likely hypothermic, and she was in deep distress. 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."

He said: "From there she seemingly vanished. One man knew very well where Libby had gone. That man is the defendant, Pawel Relowicz.”

Mr Wright said that Relowicz drove Squire to nearby playing fields at Oak Road, a place he chose specifically "so that he would not be disturbed".

He continued: "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 20 March."

Mr Wright told the jury at Sheffield Crown Court how Squire had drinks with friends and was said to be in "good spirits", before she was put in a taxi after being denied entry into the city venue.

On being dropped near her home, the youngster – who was originally from High Wycombe – fell and landed face first on the ground. When she got up, apparently disorientated, she walked "away from the safety of her front door”.

A group of students heard Squire crying and let her in to their house but she left, insisting she wanted to go home. Instead, she headed to the city’s still-busy Beverley Road.

It was there that Relowicz struck, Mr Wright said. CCTV footage showed the pair coming into contact.

“We will see how the two of them coincide just after midnight on 1 February,” he told the court. “We will then follow them from there in the defendant's car to the Oak Road playing fields. We will never see Libby again in the footage… We will invite you to conclude that is because he raped and killed her there and put her in the river.”

The jury was also told that CCTV clips of Relowicz's silver Vauxhall Astra showed him “cruising around the student area” of Hull that night.

"These early clips are important because we suggest that they demonstrate the defendant…was effectively on patrol, looking for an opportunity to present itself to him,” said Mr Wright.

The trial continues.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in