Libby Squire trial: Student ‘raped, murdered and thrown in river’ on freezing cold night
A 26-year-old man raped and murdered a “drunk and vulnerable” student in an act of sexual violence before putting her body into a river, a court has heard.
Libby Squire ‘disappeared’ from a bench in Hull on a bitterly cold night in 2019 – and was never seen alive again.
Having been turned away from a local nightclub, she headed towards her home but never arrived.
Tragically, on March 20, Libby’s body was recovered from the Humber Estuary, close to Spurn Point.
Pawel Relowicz had come across Libby, 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 heard today.
Libby’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 Libby Squire.
Richard Wright QC, opening the case for the prosecution, said Libby 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.
“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 her, 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.”
Mr Wright told the court that Relowicz drove Libby 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.”
On the evening of January 31, Libby 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, she fell and landed face first on the ground and walked “away from the safety of her front door” and towards Beverley Road.
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.
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.
Pawel Relowicz is standing trial accused of the rape and murder of Hull student Libby Squire.
Relowicz, 26, formerly of Raglan Street, off Newland Avenue, was charged with her rape and murder in October the same year.
He was due to stand trial in June 2020 but it was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Relowicz will now stand trial from today before Judge Lambert.
The trial will take place at Sheffield Crown Court and is expected to last four weeks.
Source: The Mirror