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Libby Squire murder trial: Pawel Relowicz 'prowled streets for victim'

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image copyrightSquire Family
image captionLibby Squire was not seen alive after travelling to Oak Road playing fields with Pawel Relowicz, a court heard

A man accused of raping and murdering a student committed a string of "sexually motivated" burglaries in the months before her death, a court has heard.

Pawel Relowicz, 26, denies killing Libby Squire and dumping her body.

Jurors heard "trophies" - underwear and sex toys - stolen from other women were found after his arrest.

Prosecutors claim he was "prowling the streets" of Hull's student area in search of a victim when he intercepted the "extremely vulnerable" Ms Squire.

Sheffield Crown Court previously heard the defendant drove Ms Squire - who had earlier been refused entry to a nightclub - to the Oak Road playing fields.

Once there, jurors were told, he subjected her to an "act of sexual violence" before he disposed of her body in the River Hull.

Her remains were found in the Humber Estuary almost seven weeks later.

'Desperate screams'

Prosecutor Richard Wright QC said Mr Relowicz would claim Ms Squire had "instigated consensual sexual intercourse", and he had left her "safe and well" on the fields.

image copyrightElizabeth Cook
image captionRichard Wright QC continued to outline the case against Pawel Relowicz on Wednesday

However, Sam Alford, who lives nearby, reported hearing a woman's "desperate screams" coming from the direction of the river, the court heard.

Prosecutors allege the screams were Ms Squire's and a man seen "emerging from the darkness" and fleeing the area was the defendant.

"Libby was never seen again", Mr Wright told jurors.

'Uncontrollable urges'

The screams, and scratches to the defendant's face were evidence Ms Squire had "fought him off", the court heard.

Mr Wright said the evidence established "that she was raped by a man whose entire motivation for coming into contact with her that night was to take her away from safety to a remote area well known to him and there to subject her to his uncontrollable sexual urges".

The prosecutor said a pathologist concluded he could not establish how Ms Squire died despite "an obvious bruise" to the inside of her right thigh.

Mr Wright told jurors a CCTV recording made after the last sighting of Ms Squire showed Mr Relowicz performing a sex act in the middle of a street.

A condom found at the scene days later yielded a DNA profile matching the defendant, the court heard.

In the year leading up to Ms Squire's disappearance, Mr Relowicz exposed himself to women in public and watched them through windows as they changed or had sex, the court heard.

He also "burgled their homes with the purpose of stealing their underwear and sexual toys or other objects," Mr Wright said.

image copyrightSquire family
image captionUniversity of Hull student Libby Squire was last seen in the early hours of 1 February 2019

Following his arrest on 6 February, Mr Wright said, police recovered the pink holdall "full of sex toys... and some photographs of young women and several pairs of women's knickers and thongs".

Libby 'afraid of water'

A statement made by Ms Squire's mother, Lisa Squire, was read out in court describing her daughter having battled mental health issues including an eating disorder, self-harming - cutting the top of her arms, legs and chest - and depression.

She said her eldest child had been afraid of water since she was young, to the point she would not go near a swimming pool when on holiday. She was also scared of the dark, jurors were told.

Statements by Ms Squire's boyfriend Connor James-Pye were also read out, in which he described Libby as being "a happy drunk" and that she "didn't understand moderation".

However, on the night she disappeared, the court heard Ms Squire "didn't want to go out because she had a lecture the next morning, but she didn't want to let the girls down".

Mr James-Pye last heard from his girlfriend at about 22:30 on 31 January, jurors heard.

The trial continues.

image captionThe 21-year-old's body was recovered from the Humber Estuary on 20 March 2019

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