James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Butcher found guilty of rape and murder of student Libby Squire in Hull
11 February 2021, 15:32 | Updated: 13 February 2021, 14:11
A butcher has been found guilty of raping and murdering university student Libby Squire after he picked her up as she walked home from a night out in Hull.
Pawel Relowicz, 26, showed no emotion as he was convicted by a jury at Sheffield Crown Court after 28 hours of deliberations.
Ms Squire's parents, Lisa and Russ, attended the whole of the four-week trial, hearing how Relowicz raped their daughter on a playing field before dumping her in the River Hull on February 1, 2019.
Mr and Mrs Squire cried and held hands in the public gallery after waiting a week for the jury to return its verdicts.
Speaking outside court on Thursday, with her husband by her side, Mrs 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.
"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."
She returned to her street in a taxi but, instead of going home, the philosophy student went to Beverley Road where a number of people tried to help her in the freezing conditions before she got into Relowicz's car.
The court heard Relowicz, who worked for Karro Foods in Malton, North Yorkshire, picked her up when she was drunk, upset and hypothermic before driving her to Oak Road playing fields.
He raped her and put her into the River Hull, either alive, dead or dying, the prosecution previously said.
Her body was found in the Humber estuary around seven weeks after she went missing and a post-mortem examination could not determine the cause of death.
Polish-born Relowicz, of Raglan Street, Hull, denied raping and murdering Ms Squire, who was originally from High Wycombe, in Buckinghamshire.
But prosecutor Richard Wright QC previously told the jury the married father-of-two's insistence that he had consensual sex with Ms Squire was a “nonsense proposition”.
Mr Wright asked the jury to consider whether a young woman who had been crying, shivering uncontrollably and begging to go home to her mother would say: "I'll lie here on this scrap of grass and I'll have unprotected sex with you here and now."
He told the jury the defendant had been out for three hours that night looking to "satisfy his insatiable sexual urges".
Relowicz admitted he "wanted an opportunity for easy sex", Mr Wright said.
The prosecutor rejected alternative possible explanations for the student's death.
He said it was true she had had mental health problems as a teenager but all signs were that this was improving and friends and family said she was not suicidal.
Mr Wright said it was not credible to argue she had accidentally fallen in the river, as she would have had to walk across the playing fields from where Relowicz had left her and was terrified of water.
And he told the jury the idea she was killed by someone other than the defendant would have been an "unholy coincidence".
Relowicz had previously admitted committing a series of sexually motivated offences in the 18 months before Ms Squire disappeared.
They included voyeurism, masturbating in the street and stealing sex toys and underwear from women's homes.