Guilty: Malton butcher convicted of raping and murdering student, 21

11 Feb 2021 @ 4.33 pm
| Crime

A Malton butcher has been found guilty of raping and murdering Hull University student Libby Squire.

Pawel Relowicz, 26, raped the 21-year-old on a playing field in Hull before dumping her in the River Hull, a jury at Sheffield Crown Court has heard.

Ms Squire went missing after a night out on February 1 2019, and her body was found almost seven weeks later in the Humber Estuary.

Libby’s parents Lisa and Russell Squire outside Sheffield Crown Court. Photograph: Peter Byrne

Relowicz was found guilty of rape unanimously by a jury of five men and seven women and guilty of murder on a majority of 11 to one.

The judge, Mrs Justice Lambert said he will be sentenced on Friday.

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.”

Father-of-two Relowicz, who was found to have committed a series of strange and frightening sex offences after he was arrested, picked up the second year philosophy student as she wandered around the Beverley Road area of Hull in a confused, upset and drunken state in freezing conditions.

Mass of evidence

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Pawel Relowicz

The jury had heard a mass of circumstantial evidence linking Relowicz to Ms Squire’s disappearance, despite pathologists being unable to determine how she died.

During three weeks of evidence, the court was told how the Hull University philosophy student had been out with friends, but was so drunk she was refused entry to a club.

Her friends paid a taxi driver to take her home but, instead of going into her shared student house, Ms Squire wandered in a drunken state – falling over in the snow and refusing offers of help from passers-by, until she encountered Relowicz.

Relowicz told the jury he did not kill Ms Squire and said he had consensual sex with her on Oak Road.

The defendant has admitted a series of what his barrister called “utterly disgusting” sexual offences in the months before that night, and he admitted he watched porn and masturbated in the street in the hours after he said he had sex with the student.

Oliver Saxby QC, defending, said there was no evidence that Relowicz had killed her.

Giving evidence through an interpreter, Polish-born Relowicz, of Raglan Street, 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”.

‘Web of lies’

‘Intercepted’: Libby Squire

The defendant – who has convictions for outraging public decency, voyeurism and sexually motivated burglaries – said he parked on Haworth Street with the intention of looking through windows and masturbating.

He told the court he left Ms Squire on Oak Road to walk home and she was alive.

A pathologist told the court he could not determine the cause of Ms Squire’s death due to the amount of time she had been in the water.

Pawel Relowicz, who worked at the Karro Foods bacon factory in Malton, invented a “web of lies” after taking advantage of Libby 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.”