Polish butcher Pawel Relowicz, 26, was jailed for life and told he must serve a minimum of 27 years at Sheffield Crown Court today after he was found guilty of the rape and murder of University of Hull student Libby Squire, 21.
Libby was driven to a remote playing field by Pawel Relowicz, where she was raped, murdered and then dumped in a river.
The Polish-born father of-two, from Hull, denied murdering and raping philosophy student Libby, who went missing following a night out in February 2019. But jurors convicted him of rape and murder after almost 28 hours of deliberation.
CCTV of Libby Squire before her death on her way to Welly Nightclub
Libby’s disappearance sparked the biggest missing person search Humberside Police had ever embarked on, with hundreds of officers, as well as other forces, partner agencies and volunteers from the community, coming together to look for her.
Tragically, it was later discovered that Pawel Relowicz had raped and killed Libby, with her body found in the Humber seven weeks after she was reported missing.
After the guilty verdicts, Libby’s parents Lisa and Russ Squire said: “Firstly, we would like to thank everybody for their love and support over the past two years. We have really appreciated it.
“As a family today’s verdict changes nothing for us – there is no closure. We don’t get to have Libby back. Our lives do not revert back to normal.
“However, we are pleased that all the hard work and dedication of the police and legal team has been recognised
“Libby will always be with us. We are so proud of our beautiful, caring, amazingly wonderful girl and although she has been physically taken from us, the memories we have and the love we share can never be taken.”
CCTV footage showing Polish butcher Pawel Relowicz getting into his Vauxhall Astra at Tesco petrol station on the night raped and murdered Libby Squire
The court heard Relowicz drove Libby to secluded playing fields, raped and murdered her and dumped her body in the River Hull on 1 February 2019.
Sentencing him, Mrs Justice Lambert, said Relowicz had “patrolled the student area looking for a suitable victim” and saw Libby, who had had a lot to drink, “weaving her precarious way” around after being turned away from Welly nightclub.
“She had no way of protecting herself from you either physically or mentally,” the judge said.
CCTV of Pawel Relowicz going for a McDonalds after raping and murdering Libby Squire
Relowicz on CCTV walks past a takeaway
Pawel Relowicz on CCTV at Tesco petrol station
Detective Superintendent Martin Smalley, Senior Investigating Officer in the case, said: “This has been one of the most challenging and emotional cases I’ve led on in my 30 year career as a detective, and I know everyone has felt as deep a personal connection to Libby as I have.”
CCTV of Libby Squire, unsteady on her feet through alcohol, as she heads towards Welly Nightclub at 11.20pm on the night she was later raped and murdered
The detective added that Relowicz “was arrested on suspicion of a number of burglaries and sexually motivated crimes, including in connection with Libby’s disappearance, just five days after Libby was reported missing.
“Pawel Relowicz was not known to police before the investigation into Libby’s disappearance, and had never been in the police or court system before. A number of these other sexually motivated offences had been reported over the two years leading up to Libby’s disappearance, but some of them only started to be reported as the Libby search unfolded.
CCTV footage showing Libby Squire (green arrow) getting into Polish butcher Pawel (red arrow) Relowicz’s Vauxhall Astra in Haworth Street before he drives off with her inside
“As soon as he was arrested in the February of 2019, we were able to take his DNA and fingerprints which then showed a match for some of these other crimes. Whilst we continued to investigate Libby’s disappearance further, we secured charges for 13 offences and he was remanded. He then pleaded guilty to nine of these and was sentenced in August 2019.”
The judge described Libby as a young woman with a “troubled past in many ways” who had “turned a corner in her life” and was flourishing at the University of Hull, but “did not stand a chance” from the moment a “malignant twist of fate” led their paths to cross.
After the murder Relowicz tried to dispose of Libby’s body in the water in the hope “her body would be washed out to sea and never found”.
Outside court Lisa Squire, alongside her husband, said life without their daughter is “torture.”
The jury was told Relowicz, who worked as a butcher, had a string of convictions for sexually motivated offences including voyeurism.
CCTV of Pawel Relowicz going to McDonalds after raping and murdering student Libby Squire
The judge told him that before the murder: “Your offending escalated, you grew increasingly emboldened, no doubt you were increasingly confident you would not and could not be caught.
“You watched these women, staring back at them brazenly even after they had spotted you.”
He reacted similarly as he was jailed, showing no emotion as the female judge sentenced him to life with a minimum of 27 years, with an 18 years concurrent sentence for rape.
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