A butcher raped and murdered a “drunk and vulnerable” student before leaving her body in a cold river to drift to sea, a court has heard.
Pawel Relowicz, 26, from Poland, was “on patrol” looking for an opportunity before attacking 21-year-old Libby Squire, who went missing in early 2019, jurors have been told.
He denies both rape and murder.
Relowicz came across Squire on a road in Hull after she was refused entry into a nightclub, Richard Wright QC, prosecuting, told Sheffield Crown Court.
Jurors heard the Hull University philosophy student had been in “good spirits” until that point, and her friends put her in a taxi with the fare already paid.
However, she fell and landed face first after getting out at home, and began walking away from her front door.
She would not take her phone with her on nights out because she had broken too many screens.
Relowicz’s alleged victim was drunk, “likely hypothermic” and in “deep distress”, having lost her house keys on the freezing night of 31 January 2019, jurors were told.
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.
Students had let her in to their home but she left, saying she wanted to go home. Squire was later seen shouting “don’t leave me” at a car.
Jurors were shown CCTV that showed Relowicz’s silver Vauxhall Astra was “cruising around the student area” in Hull.
“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 Squire strayed into his path.
The prosecutor said she seemed to vanish.
“One man knew very well where Libby had gone. That man is the defendant, Pawel Relowicz.
“He lived with his family in a residential street a short distance from Libby’s home and he had come across her, drunk and vulnerable as she was, on Beverley Road, in Hull.”
Wright said Relowicz drove her to playing fields nearby, a “remote spot” he was familiar with, “so they would not be disturbed”.
“At Oak Road, having exited his vehicle, 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,” he said.
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.
Relowicz listened to the evidence in court. He was living with his wife and two children in Hull, the court was told, and worked as a butcher in Malton, North Yorkshire.
The trial continues.