Libby Squire: Jury watches CCTV footage of murder-accused as he intercepts Hull student

  • Video footage of the search for Libby Squire by Humberside Police in 2019 following her disappearance.

A butcher committed a series of sexually motivated crimes against young women in the months before he raped and murdered a 21-year-old university student, a court has heard.

A trial at Sheffield Crown Court heard that Pawel Relowicz was "driven" to commit the crimes and "went further than he had done before" when he subjected Libby Squire to his "uncontrollable sexual urges" in Hull on February 1 2019.

Pawel Relowicz, 26, was captured on CCTV as he "effectively stalks" Libby Squire before he "darts" across the road to where she was, Sheffield Crown Court heard on Wednesday (13 January).

The trial heard that, just minutes later, Relowicz drove away from Haworth Street, in Hull, with Ms Squire in his car.

According to the prosecution opening statement: Libby Squire left her student home at Wellesley Avenue with friends at about 8.30pm on January 31 and they walked to another student house on Cromer Street.

They left Cromer Street at about 11pm to walk to The Welly nightclub, at the junction of Wellington Lane and Beverley Road, where they arrived at 11.20pm.

Miss Squire was refused entry to the The Welly and was put in a taxi by her friends just before 11.30pm.

The taxi dropped her in Wellesley Avenue but she did not go to her nearby house. She instead set off towards Beverley Road but fell over in the street.

She went into another house on Wellesley Avenue after the occupants heard her crying. She said she wanted to go home but set off towards Beverley Road, dropping her keys outside the house she had left.

Miss Squire was approached by a woman who tried to help her outside the former convent at the Endsleigh Centre, on Beverley Road.

She was approached by two men who tried to help her as she lay in the snow near the junction of Haworth Road and Beverley Road. They were there from 11.40pm to 11.49pm.

Another woman tried to help her as she sat on the floor near a bus stop close to the same junction and a supermarket manager spotted her in the same location.

Relowicz's Vauxhall Astra arrived at the end of Haworth Street at 11.57pm. The defendant got out of the car, crossed the road to Beresford Avenue and tracked Miss Squire as she walked back up Beverley Road.

Richard Wright QC, prosecuting, previously told the jury of five men and seven women that the defendant, a butcher from Poland, took Ms Squire to a remote playing field, where he raped and murdered her before putting her body in the River Hull.

He said Ms Squire - who was drunk and had been refused entry to a nightclub - was "extremely vulnerable" and "likely hypothermic" as she was not dressed for the freezing cold weather.

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Pawel Relowicz (2nd right) Credit: PA

Mr Wright told the jury that father-of-two Relowicz had spent the evening of January 31, 2019, "patrolling the streets" of the student area of Hull "looking for an opportunity to present itself to him".

The prosecutor said Ms Squire "inadvertently" strayed into his path after he parked his silver Vauxhall Astra on Haworth Street.

Describing CCTV footage taken between 11.57pm on January 31 and 12.08am on February 1, 2019, Mr Wright said it showed Relowicz leaving his vehicle, walking past Ms Squire and crossing Beverley Road.

He said: "We will invite you to conclude that he had in fact seen Libby and the obviously drunken and distressed condition she was in.

He had identified her as a target and his crossing the road was a device, a fiction tomake it look like he hadn't seen her and was just walking on past."

The barrister told the court that the footage shows Relowicz "effectively stalks" Miss Squire, "tracking" her progress before he "darts across the road and intercepts her".

File court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook dated 30/10/19 of of Pawel Relowicz. Credit: PA

The court watched footage showing the defendant returning to his car for three minutes but going back to Ms Squire after another vehicle leaves the road.

Mr Wright said that, after some "toing and froing" between the two, the philosophy student entered his car and her gold watch was later found with a damaged clasp on the street near where the vehicle had been parked.

Mr Wright said: "Whether Libby was forced into the vehicle physically, an act that would, we suggest, not have been difficult given her condition at that point, or whether she was persuaded to enter it, on the promise of some assistance being rendered to her, may never be clear from the CCTV footage alone."

Relowicz, of Raglan Street, Hull, sat in the dock with three prison officers as the footage was played to the silent court room.

He denies raping and murdering Ms Squire, who was originally from High Wycombe, in Buckinghamshire.

The trial continues.