A Malton 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 1 February 2019.
The jury was told that he came across Ms Squire – who was in a “drunken and distressed condition” – as he was “prowling around the student area” looking for an opportunity to commit a sexual offence against a vulnerable young girl.
He drove her in his car to the remote Oak Road playing fields where he raped and murdered her before putting her body into the cold waters of the River Hull, the court heard.
Richard Wright QC, prosecuting, said Relowicz was in a “heightened state of arousal” – browsing an internet pornography site twice in the hours after Ms Squire’s disappearance and being captured on CCTV masturbating in the street.
The jury, of five men and seven women, heard that the defendant had previously pleaded guilty to nine sexually motivated offences committed over a number of months before Ms Squire’s death.
His crimes included exposing himself to or masturbating in front of women in public, watching women through the window as they changed or had sex, and burgling women’s homes with the purpose of stealing their underwear, sex toys or other objects, the court heard.
Police searching his car after his arrest in connection with Ms Squire’s disappearance found a bag of “trophies … taken in a series of sexually motivated burglaries”, including sex toys, photographs of young women and several pairs of women’s knickers and thongs, the jury was told.
Mr Wright said: “The defendant was, therefore, at the time he encountered Libby on 31 January, a man who was driven to commit sexually motivated offences against young women.”
He added: “In Libby Squire, he found the opportunity he was looking for and went further than he had done before, driving her away, raping her and killing her.”
The jury watched CCTV footage of Relowicz “cruising” around the student area of Hull in his silver Vauxhall Astra during the hours before and after Ms Squire’s disappearance.
Mr Wright said: “He was effectively prowling around the student area of Hull on 31 January into 1 February, looking for an opportunity to commit a sexual offence against a vulnerable girl and that, in Libby, he had found such a girl and had taken his opportunity.
He added: “He was, we suggest, looking for an opportunity to offend. He was in a state of heightened arousal.”
The court has heard that Ms Squire, a philosophy student at the University of Hull who was originally from High Wycombe, in Buckinghamshire, was on Beverley Road after being refused entry to a nightclub because she appeared to be drunk.
Mr Wright said Relowicz “identified her as a target” and was seen on CCTV as he “stalks” and “intercepts” her a few minutes before she enters his car and he drives to Oak Road, where a witness described hearing “frantic” screams and seeing a man running away.
The prosecutor said Relowicz, who was seen to have scratches on his face when he was arrested, is expected to claim that Ms Squire, who had a long-term boyfriend, instigated consensual sexual intercourse with him and he left her “safe and well”.
He said: “Her screams, and the scratches that she clearly managed to land on the face of the defendant as she fought him off, are just part of the evidence that establishes that she was raped by a man whose entire motivation for coming into contact with her that night was to take her away from safety to a remote area well known to him and there to subject her to his uncontrollable sexual urges.”
He added: “His purpose, his sole purpose, was to rape her and to use whatever force was necessary to achieve that end, to silence her screams and to escape detection.”
Ms Squire’s body was found in the Humber Estuary around seven weeks after she disappeared, the court has heard.
Mr Wright said a post-mortem examination could not establish how she died but a swab taken from inside her vagina detected sperm cells that matched the DNA profile of Relowicz.
On Wednesday, Ms Squire’s father, Russ, left the public gallery while CCTV clips of his daughter were played, while her mother, Lisa, held a tissue to her face as she watched.
Father-of-two Relowicz, 26, who worked as a butcher at Karro Foods in Malton, lived at Raglan Street, Hull, but is originally from Poland. He denies raping and murdering Ms Squire.