The mother of student Libby Squire who was raped and murdered has told a court she was haunted by not being there for her daughter when she needed her.
As killer Pawel Relowicz waited to be sentenced to life, the Hull University philosophy student’s mother Lisa read a powerful victim statement out at Sheffield Crown Court.
The 26-year-old Polish butcher was convicted of raping and murdering 21-year-old Ms Squire in Hull, when he chanced upon her after she had been on a night out with friends.
Mrs Squire 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.”
Her father Russ had his statement read out by Richard Wright QC, prosecuting, who 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?”
Ms Squire leaves three younger siblings, and her sister Beth said in a statement: “She cared for me so greatly.
“When I was little I idolised her.
“Now that she has been removed from me, I am left trying to navigate a scary, unknown world.”
Mr Wright addressed Mrs Justice Lambert, who will pass sentence later on Friday, to outline the aggravating factors in the case.
He said Relowicz was a sex offender targeting a known student area, looking for victims that night.
Ms Squire was extremely vulnerable owing to her condition, he said.
The court heard when she went out that night on January 31 2019 she had been refused entry to a nightclub because she was drunk.
Mr Wright said Relowicz picked her up in his car from a place of relative safety in the street, drove her to a secluded place where he raped her, then put her dead or dying body in the River Hull.
It was almost seven weeks before she was found.
Mr Wright said the sexual offending had been planned, if the murder was not, and Ms Squire would have known she was in danger.
The jury heard a mass of circumstantial evidence linking Relowicz to Ms Squire’s disappearance, despite pathologists being unable to determine how she died because her body had been in the water for so long before it was was found in the Humber Estuary.
Her disappearance sparked a huge search involving police and members of the public and Relowicz was arrested after police trawled through hours of CCTV and saw his car had been cruising in the area.
Ms Squire’s friends had paid a taxi driver to take her home but, instead of going into her shared student house, Ms Squire wandered around, fell over in the snow and refused offers of help from passers-by, until she encountered Relowicz.
He was to tell police 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.
The defendant 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.
Relowicz 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.
Oliver Saxby QC, defending, commented on the degree of planning, saying: “There was no doubt he was on the lookout to commit sexual offences, but he was not cruising around to commit rape or a murder.”