Pawel Relowicz guilty of raping and murdering Hull student Libby Squire

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Stacey Foster

Pawel Relowicz has been found guilty at Sheffield Crown Court of raping and murdering Hull University student Libby Squire.

Ms Squire’s body was found in the Humber Estuary almost seven weeks after she went missing on February 1 2019, following a night out in Hull.

The 21-year-old had been stumbling around in a confused, upset and drunken state when she was picked up by 26-year-old butcher Relowicz, who had been cruising the streets of Hull’s student area for hours.

Polish-born Relowicz took Ms Squire to the nearby Oak Road playing fields where he raped her and dumped her in the tidal River Hull either alive – leaving her to drown – or after killing her, the court heard.

Relowicz was found guilty of rape unanimously. He was found guilty of murder on a majority of 11 to one.

The judge, Ms Justice Lambert, said he will be sentenced tomorrow at 12pm.

Speaking after the verdict, Ms Squire's mother, Lisa Squire said: "As a family, today’s verdict changes nothing for us."

"There is no closure, we don’t get to have Libby back, our lives don’t revert back to normal."

She added: "Libby will always be with us and we are all so proud of our beautiful, caring, wonderful girl and although she has been physically taken from us, the memories we have, and the love we share, will never be taken."

Relowicz had committed a series of strange, sexually motivated burglaries and acts of voyeurism in the 18 months before that night and later admitted that he was out patrolling for further victims, the court heard.

The panel of seven women and five men heard Relowicz had previous convictions of voyeurism, performing sex acts in public and stealing sex toys and underwear from women's homes.

Ms Squire, who is originally from the High Wycombe area of Buckinghamshire, had set off from her shared student house in Wellesley Avenue, Hull, at 8.30pm on January 31 2019 for a typical student night out.

By the time she arrived at The Welly club at 11.20pm door staff refused her entry as she was drunk and her friends put her in a cab, paying the driver to take her home, the court heard.

But Ms Squire did not go into her house, instead finding herself wandering drunk in Beverley Road in freezing cold temperatures, falling over and even lying in the snow.

A number of concerned people spoke to her to see if she was OK but she refused all offers of help until Relowicz noticed her, got her into his car and drove her to her death at the playing fields by the river, the court was told.

Libby Squire Credit: Humberside Police/PA

Prosecutor Richard Wright QC told the jury: "Libby Squire died because it was her sheer misfortune, by a terrible twist of fate, to stray into the path of a man who was looking out for just this opportunity."

After the killing, Relowicz went home, had a bath and changed clothes before heading back to the Oak Road playing fields – either to put Ms Squire’s body into the river or to tidy up the crime scene.

A massive search operation – the biggest in Humberside Police’s history – was launched after Ms Squire "vanished as if into thin air".

Even after her body was found, detectives trying to work out how Miss Squire died had two major problems.

The first was that she had been in the water so long that a pathologist could not establish the cause of her death. And the second was that they never found any direct evidence to establish how she got into the River Hull.

But police did have key pieces of information - analysis of semen found in Miss Squire’s body proved that Relowicz had had sexual intercourse with her.

A combination of extensive CCTV footage and witness accounts meant they could trace virtually every movement made by both Relowicz and Ms Squire through the whole night, except for the fatal moments on the Oak Road fields.

Relowicz, of Raglan Street, Hull, had no choice but to admit the series of sexualised offences he committed in the previous months and his motive for being out prowling the streets on the night of her death.

He also had to admit that he picked up Ms Squire in his car.

Giving evidence through an interpreter, Relowicz told the court he was driving around Hull on the evening of Ms Squire’s disappearance because he was "looking for a woman to have easy sex".

But he continued to deny that he raped and murdered Ms Squire, telling the jury – in the last of six different versions of events he gave to police and, later, to the jury – that he had consensual sex with her before leaving her to walk home very much alive.

Relowicz invented a "web of lies" after taking advantage of Ms Squire’s "vulnerable and distressed" state, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

In a statement after the verdicts, Gerry Wareham, of the CPS, said: "Relowicz robbed a young and vibrant woman of her life and her future. His actions have left her family and friends devastated.

"Relowicz invented a web of lies to explain his actions that night, insisting throughout that he had tried to help Libby find her way home.

"Nothing could be further from the truth. Far from being a good Samaritan, Relowicz preyed upon her, he took advantage of her vulnerable and distressed state and then he raped and murdered her.

"I cannot begin to imagine the suffering Libby’s family are enduring. I can only hope that today’s verdict can bring them some measure of comfort. Our thoughts remain with them."

  • 'I felt for the first time I wasn't mad'

One of the first known victims of Pawel Relowicz from 2017 tells ITV News Correspondent Stacey Foster, "I felt for the first time I wasn't mad, I wasn't overreacting, I wasn't being hysterical."

"I had been afraid and convinced we were dealing with someone dangerous, and then that was actually confirmed," she adds.