Libby Squire's mother tells ITV News non-contact sexual offences should be treated as 'red flags'

Lisa Squire is set to give evidence to MPs who are looking into whether enough is being done to stop ‘low level’ sexual offences becoming more serious, Stacey Foster reports

It’s been five years since I went to Hull to report on the disappearance of missing student Libby Squire.

She had disappeared after a night out with her friends on February 1, 2019. Her body was recovered from the Humber Estuary on 20th March.

ITV News obtained exclusive CCTV footage which showed the man responsible for her death putting Libby into his car.

She was never seen again.

Pawel Relowicz was sentenced to 27 years in prison for the rape and murder of Libby Squire in 2021.

In the eighteen months before he killed Libby, Relowicz was convicted of a series of so-called non-contact sexual offences on women in Hull.

Pawel Relowicz was found guilty at Sheffield Crown Court of raping and murdering Hull University student Libby Squire in 2021. Credit: ITV News

In August 2019, he was sentenced to five years and nine months for four offences of voyeurism, three counts of burglary and two counts of outraging public decency over a period from June 2017 to January 2019.

In the weeks before he killed Libby Squire his offending escalated.

Just three weeks before, Relowicz stalked two sets of young women at night and followed them home.

Libby’s mother, Lisa, is now a campaigner. She has been invited to give evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee which is carrying out an inquiry into non-contact sexual offences.

Speaking exclusively to me, before giving her evidence, Lisa said she was shocked when police told her about Relowicz’s offending and patterns of behaviour: “I was horrified. But it answered questions because I remember thinking very clearly, why did he pick on my daughter?

"When I found out that he had this list of non-contact offences. I put two and two together and I remember saying to my husband, 'well, he hasn't taken her to the park for a picnic, has he?' And it gave me a reason.

"It gave me a kind of a ticked box, of that dreaded box that no woman wants to think about.”

Lisa Squire said: "I was horrified. But it answered questions because I remember thinking very clearly, why did he pick on my daughter? " Credit: ITV News

Non-contact sexual offences refer to a range of sexual offences involving no physical contact between the perpetrator and the victim, such as voyeurism and indecent exposure.

The inquiry will examine whether enough is being done to prevent the escalation of offending as in Libby’s perpetrator’s case and that of Sarah Everard’s killer. It will also examine the police response to non-contact sexual offences.

Lisa is clear that non-contact sexual offences should be treated as “red flags” and these offences should be taken more seriously.

She said: “It is not normal behaviour for a man to commit a non-contact sexual offence. Obviously, after Libby died, we had Sarah Everard, who, you know, her perpetrator was accused of non-contact sexual offences just before he killed her.

"So I think they're beginning to put two and two together and it's come at quite a good time. We can't say that every non-contact sexual offender will go on to become a rapist, but we can say that rapists started off as non-contact sexual offenders.”

Lisa will tell parliament there needs to be tougher sentences, but also treatment for perpetrators.

Her evidence will inform the committee which will make recommendations to the government.

She is urging women to report any incident, no matter how small, via police websites which can often be done anonymously.

Lisa is determined to change things, and even if just one woman is saved, she told me that will be Libby’s legacy. 

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