Libby Squire murder trial: Jury watches CCTV footage of murder-accused as he ‘intercepts’ student
A jury trying a man accused of raping and murdering a 21-year-old university student from High Wycombe have watched the moment he “intercepts” her in the street after he “identified her as a target”.
Pawel Relowicz, 26, was captured on CCTV as he “effectively stalks” Libby Squire before he “darts” across the road to where she was, Sheffield Crown Court heard on Wednesday.
The trial heard that, just minutes later, Relowicz drove away from Haworth Street, in Hull, with Ms Squire in his car.
RECAP: Trial day one - man 'raped and murdered vulnerable and distressed' student from High Wycombe
Richard Wright QC, prosecuting, previously told the jury of five men and seven women that the defendant, a butcher from Poland, took Ms Squire to a remote playing field, where he raped and murdered her before putting her body in the River Hull.
He said Ms Squire – who was drunk and had been refused entry to a nightclub – was “extremely vulnerable” and “likely hypothermic” as she was not dressed for the freezing cold weather.
Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Pawel Relowicz
She had walked away from her house on Wellesley Avenue after being dropped off by a taxi and a number of people, some who saw her falling and lying on the floor in the snow, tried to help her, the court heard.
Mr Wright told the jury that father-of-two Relowicz had spent the evening of January 31, 2019, “patrolling the streets” of the student area of Hull “looking for an opportunity to present itself to him”.
The prosecutor said Ms Squire “inadvertently” strayed into his path after he parked his silver Vauxhall Astra on Haworth Street.
Describing CCTV footage taken between 11.57pm on January 31 and 12.08am on February 1, 2019, Mr Wright said it showed Relowicz leaving his vehicle, walking past Ms Squire and crossing Beverley Road.
ALSO READ: Final farewell to Libby Squire as hundreds attend her funeral in West Wycombe
He said: “We will invite you to conclude that he had in fact seen Libby and the obviously drunken and distressed condition she was in. He had identified her as a target and his crossing the road was a device, a fiction to make it look like he hadn’t seen her and was just walking on past.”
The barrister told the court that the footage shows Relowicz “effectively stalks” Miss Squire, “tracking” her progress before he “darts across the road and intercepts her”.
The court watched footage showing the defendant returning to his car for three minutes but going back to Ms Squire after another vehicle leaves the road.
Mr Wright said that, after some “toing and froing” between the two, the philosophy student entered his car and her gold watch was later found with a damaged clasp on the street near where the vehicle had been parked.
Mr Wright said: “Whether Libby was forced into the vehicle physically, an act that would, we suggest, not have been difficult given her condition at that point, or whether she was persuaded to enter it, on the promise of some assistance being rendered to her, may never be clear from the CCTV footage alone.”
ALSO READ: University of Hull student Libby Squire's mother Lisa Squire, from High Wycombe, pays heartbreaking tribute to her 'beautiful girl'
CCTV showed Relowicz driving to Oak Road Playing Fields – an area that he had already visited that night – where both he and Libby Squire got out of the vehicle before he returned to his car alone seven-and-a-half minutes later.
He told the jury that a resident called Sam Alford, who lived in a house on the edge of the playing field, reported hearing a series of female screams coming from the direction of the river before seeing a man running away off the fields and towards the road.
Mr Wright said: “They were distant screams but they were loud screams.
“Mr Alford recalled them as frantic screams that had urgency and had depth.
“There were gaps between them and there were several of them.”
He added: “We will invite you to conclude that the screams were Libby’s and that the man then seen running back after the screaming had stopped was the defendant.”
Mr Wright said Relowicz went home but returned to the playing fields around two hours later.
The prosecutor said he then continued “cruising around the streets of the student area in his car” and was captured on CCTV footage in the street.
He said: “Libby Squire was never seen alive again by any person, CCTV or other means.”
Relowicz, of Raglan Street, Hull, sat in the dock with three prison officers as the footage was played to the silent court room.
He denies raping and murdering Ms Squire, who was originally from High Wycombe.
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