A butcher has been found guilty of the rape and murder of Hull University student Libby Squire.
Pawel Relowicz was said to have cruised around the city’s student area on the night of 31 January 2019 looking for “easy sex”.
Prosecutors said he picked up the drunk and vulnerable 21-year-old, who had left a night out, before driving her to parklands.
They accused him of then raping her and either killing her in the park or leaving her body in the River Hull to drown.
The 26-year-old married father from Poland – whose past offences include outraging public decency, voyeurism and sexually-motivated burglaries – denied both charges, insisting he had consensual sex with her and did not know what happened to her later.
But on Thursday (local time), a jury found him guilty at Sheffield Crown Court of both counts.
Libby Squire was 'extremely vulnerable'
Ms Squire was drunk, “likely hypothermic” and in “deep distress”, having lost her house keys on the freezing night of January 31, 2019, Richard Wright QC, prosecuting, told Sheffield Crown Court.
The student was crying, had fallen repeatedly and was “extremely vulnerable”, Wright said, adding that two men had tried to help her as she lay in the snow but left after she became agitated.
Jurors were shown CCTV of Relowicz’s silver Vauxhall Astra “cruising around the student area” in Hull and were presented with a detailed timeline of his actions that night.
“We suggest that he was effectively on patrol, looking for an opportunity to present itself to him,” Wright said.
He described Relowicz as “circling about the area in his car” until Ms Squire strayed into his path just before midnight.
Relowicz was at the park with victim for less than 8 minutes
At 12:08am CCTV footage shows Relowicz driving off from Haworth Street with Ms Squire in his car.
The car arrived at Oak Road playing fields at 12:11am.
At 12:14am a man living in a house at the entrance to the fields wakes up after hearing a woman screaming in the park.
At 12:19am Relowicz’s car lights flash as he unlocks his car indicating him leaving the park.
Relowicz arrived home just before 12:30am.
Between 2:22am and 2:25am, Relowicz returned to the playing fields, staying for a little over four minutes.
Friends reported Ms Squire missing to police at 2:45am.
“We say that Pawel Relowicz raped Libby and that he killed her, causing her death during that act of sexual violence, which culminated in his putting her, dead or dying, into the cold waters of the River Hull that bordered the edge of that playing field,” Wright told the jury.
Ms Squire’s body then travelled into the Humber and then out to sea. The body was recovered seven weeks after she went missing when she was spotted in the Humber Estuary by a fishing boat skipper.
Libby's mother: 'Today’s verdict changes nothing'
Speaking to media after the verdict, the student’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.”
In a statement, Gerry Wareham of the Crown Prosecution Service, said the defendant invented a “web of lies” and added: “Relowicz robbed a young and vibrant woman of her life and her future. His actions have left her family and friends devastated.”
Relowicz showed no emotion as the jury’s verdict was read out. His victim’s family held hands and cried in the courtroom’s public gallery.
He will be sentenced on Friday.
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