Man who raped and murdered Libby Squire jailed for life with minimum 27-year term

12 February 2021, 14:26 | Updated: 12 February 2021, 15:42

Pawel Relowicz was sentenced to life imprisonment on Friday
Pawel Relowicz was sentenced to life imprisonment on Friday. Picture: PA
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Pawel Relowicz, the man who raped and murdered Hull University student Libby Squire, has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 27 years.

The married father-of-two dumped Ms Squire's body in the River Hull after raping her on a playing field in the early hours of February 1 2019.

He was convicted by a jury at Sheffield Crown Court on Thursday after a four-week trial - including 28 hours of deliberations

The predator admitted that he had been out looking for "easy sex" that night.

Read more: Butcher found guilty of rape and murder of student Libby Squire in Hull

Ms Squire's parents, Lisa and Russ, attended court and heard how the factory worker from Poland picked up the 21-year-old as she wandered around the Beverley Road area of Hull in a confused, upset and drunken state on a freezing night.

The jury heard a mass of evidence linking Relowicz to the philosophy student's disappearance.

Most evidence was circumstantial as pathologists were unable to determine how she died because her body had been in the water for almost seven weeks before it was found in the Humber Estuary.

Ms Squire's disappearance triggered a huge search involving police and members of the public.

Relowicz was arrested after detectives trawled through hours of CCTV and saw that his car had been cruising in the area.

Read more: Hundreds attend funeral of Libby Squire eight months after her death

The court heard that Ms Squire had been out with friends on the evening before the attack where she was refused entry to a club because she was drunk.

Her friends paid a taxi driver to take her home but instead of going back to her shared student house she wandered around the area.

She fell over in the snow and refused offers of help from passers-by - until she encountered Relowicz.

After his arrest he told detectives five versions of what happened, and only admitted to having consensual sex with Ms Squire after his DNA was discovered in her body.

He told the jury he did not kill her and said he had consensual sex with her in Oak Road.

He admitted a series of what his barrister called "utterly disgusting" sexual offences in the months before that night, committing acts of voyeurism and stealing intimate items from student homes as trophies.

Giving evidence through an interpreter, Relowicz, of Raglan Street, Hull, told the court he was driving around the city on the evening of Ms Squire's disappearance because he was "looking for a woman to have easy sex".

Lisa and Russell Squire described their experience as "torture"
Lisa and Russell Squire described their experience as "torture". Picture: PA Images

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

In a victim statement, Ms Squire's mother told the court: "There are no adequate words that can explain the torture of living without my Libby.

"In any times of trouble she wanted me, her mum. She knew I would do anything in my power to help her.

"Knowing I was not there when she needed me will haunt me for the rest of my life."

Ms Squire's father said: "I've lost my little girl and I'm heartbroken.

"I struggle to look at her pictures and can no longer watch her video clips, I am afraid to recall her memories because of the pain they bring. How cruel is that?"