Butcher patrolled student hotspots 'looking for an opportunity' before raping and murdering Libby Squire, court hears

A Polish butcher patrolled student hotspots in Hull looking for an "opportunity to present itself' before raping and murdering vulnerable Libby Squire, a court heard.

Pawel Relowicz, 26, formerly of Raglan Street, Hull, is charged with Miss Squire's rape and murder, and went on trial at Sheffield Crown Court today.

Miss Squire, 21, vanished in the early hours of February 1, 2019, after enjoying a night out with friends in Hull.

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The Philosophy student had been turned away from the Welly nightclub late on January 31 and after getting in a taxi to her home in Wellesley Avenue, was last seen on the corner of Haworth Street and Beverley Road in the early hours the following morning.

Libby Squire, 21, vanished in the early hours of February 1, 2019, after enjoying a night out with friends.

Opening the case, Richard Wright QC said: "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.

"Pawel Relowicz had not helped Libby home. Instead, once she was inside his vehicle, he drove her away from what would have been that place of safety and to some nearby playing fields at Oak Road. The defendant was well familiar with that remote spot and no doubt chose it so that he would not be disturbed

"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."

The court was shown CCTV footage of Relowicz - who was signed off sick from his butcher job at a factory in Malton- driving his silver Vauxhall Astra around popular student areas of west Hull, including Newland Avenue, Cottingham Road and Beverley Road.

He was also seen driving to Oak Road playing fields at around 9.12pm the same night, where he remained for around 12 minutes before leaving the scene.

Mr Wright said: "Even before the defendant met Libby we will invite you to conclude that he was cruising around this area of Hull, a popular student area of Hull. We suggest that he was effectively on patrol, looking for an opportunity to present itself

"You will remember that on this evening he was supposedly signed off work for ill health. He had a wife and two young children at home at Raglan Street but for some reason was cruising around the student area in his car."

The jury were also shown footage of Miss Squire arriving at the Welly nightclub drunk and unsteady on her feet. She was turned away by door staff and her friends ensured she got in a taxi, paying the fare in advance, to take her back to her home Wellesley Avenue.

But, she never made it her front door and instead wandered back onto Beverley Road.

Mr Wright said: "She inadvertently strayed into the path of Pawel Relowicz."

A number of people tried to help Miss Squire and reported her crying and stating she wanted to go home, but she refused their help.

The final sighting of her was by the manager of the Sainsbury's store close by, who said he saw her sat on the pavement close to the bus stop and she appeared to be shouting at a vehicle saying something on the lines of "don't leave me".

Parallel to the footage of Miss Squire, the court was shown footage of Relowicz "cruising" the streets of Hull, before parking his car in Haworth Street, at the same time Miss Squire was sat on the floor at the bus stop.

Miss Squire's body was discovered by a skipper on a fishing boat angling off Spurn Point on the Humber estuary on March 20,2019.

One of the RNLI crewmen who assisted with the retrieval of the body could see that a gold necklace with the letter 'L' on it was visible around the neck.

The'L' of the necklace was for Libby

Relowicz denies rape and murder.

The trial continues.