A man accused of raping and murdering a 21-year-old student told police he ‘felt sorry for her’ after seeing her crying and offered her a lift home in his car, a court heard.
Pawel Relowicz, 26, said he had not ‘kidnapped anybody’ and wanted to help so Libby Squire was found when he was interviewed by police six days after her disappearance in Hull, East Yorkshire, Sheffield Crown Court heard.
Polish-born Relowicz, of Raglan Street, Hull, denies raping and murdering Ms Squire on February 1, 2019.
On Tuesday, the jury at his trial also watched CCTV footage which showed his and Ms Squire’s movements on the night she disappeared.
Pawel Relowicz, 26, who is accused of raping and murdering 21-year-old student Libby Squire, told police he ‘felt sorry for her’ after seeing her crying and offered her a lift home in his car, Sheffield Crown Court heard
On Tuesday, the jury at his trial also watched CCTV footage which showed his and Ms Squire’s movements on the night she disappeared
Retired detective constable Claire Jackson, of Humberside Police, read a transcript of Relowicz’s first interviews after he was arrested on suspicion of the abduction of Ms Squire.
The jury of five men and seven women heard that he was arrested at his home on the evening of February 6 and was interviewed for the first time at 10.13pm that night.
CCTV timeline of the night Libby Squire disappeared
Around 11.20pm on January 31 – Ms Squire and her friends are seen arriving at The Welly nightclub on Beverley Road.
11.21pm – footage from inside the entrance to The Welly shows Ms Squire standing to one side speaking to her friends after being refused entry.
11.26pm – Ms Squire’s friends are seen walking into The Welly and a taxi, containing Ms Squire, is seen setting off behind them.
11.26pm to 11.52pm – Relowicz drives his silver Vauxhall Astra from Cranbrook Avenue to Haworth Street – with a 20-minute stop in Alexandra Road.
Richard Wright QC, prosecuting, said: ‘The journey from Cranbrook Avenue to Haworth Street is not an unbroken journey in time. There’s a period of time when the vehicle stops again in Alexandra Road.’
11.29pm – CCTV footage shows Ms Squire’s taxi turning from Beverley Road on to Wellesley Avenue, where she lived with three other students, the court heard.
11.34pm – Mr Grandidge showed footage of Ms Squire at the door of a house on Wellesley Avenue, near its junction with Beverley Road.
The jury has heard that Ms Squire went into this house after one of its residents heard her crying outside.
11.36pm – Ms Squire is seen leaving the house and walking on to Beverley Road. She crosses the road and continues towards the junction with Haworth Street.
11.39pm – Ms Squire is seen falling to the ground.
Dashcam footage captured by a passing motorist shows Ms Squire on the pavement, ‘very close’ to the kerb.
11.40pm – footage shows a silver Citroen Picasso, containing Roland Jacobs and Alan Jones, stopping and Mr Jacobs getting out and walking to Ms Squire. He is seen helping her up off the ground before sitting her on a wall.
11.49pm – Mr Jacobs and Mr Jones drive away in the Citroen. The jury has heard that Mr Jacobs could not understand Ms Squire, who started to swear at him, and they left after trying to help for just short of 10 minutes.
11.52pm – another passer-by, Lorna Allen, is seen approaching Ms Squire.
11.57pm – Relowicz is seen getting out of his car on Haworth Street and walking on to Beverley Road past Ms Squire, crossing the road, and going out of sight into Beresford Avenue.
11.59pm – Ms Squire is seen walking down Beverley Road. Mr Wright described her as ‘moving from side to side on the pavement’ and Mr Grandidge told the jury she ‘stumbled’ on to the road at one point.
Thirty seconds later, Relowicz leaves Beresford Avenue and walks in the same direction on the opposite side of the road. After around half a minute, he crosses the road and ‘intercepts’ Ms Squire. They both disappear into the grounds of a former nunnery.
12.01am February 1 – Mr Wright told the jury that Ms Squire and Relowicz are seen emerging from the grounds after 58 seconds and walking back up Beverley Road.
12.02am – one minute and nine seconds later, they reach the entrance to Haworth Street.
12.03am – Relowicz returns to his car and is seen sitting in the driver’s seat with his feet outside the vehicle.
12.06am – a Renault Scenic, which has been parked in Haworth Street, leaves and Relowicz is seen standing up and walking towards Beverley Road.
The jury was shown enhanced footage from a camera on Haworth Street showing two figures walking across the end of the street before appearing to stand together and then moving towards Relowicz’s car.
Footage from another camera showed Ms Squire’s leg stepping into the passenger side of the car before she enters and sits down. Relowicz is then seen coming to the driver’s side and getting into the car.
12.08am – the vehicle leaves Haworth Street and is seen on CCTV footage travelling to Oak Road playing fields.
A detective showed Sheffield Crown Court images of Relowicz and Ms Squire, taken from cameras around Hull, East Yorkshire, on the evening of January 31 2019 and into the following morning.
Detective Constable James Grandidge, of Humberside Police, played a number of CCTV clips to the jury of five men and seven women showing the separate movements of Ms Squire and Relowicz and the moments they were seen together.
Richard Woolfall, prosecuting, said Relowicz, who worked as a butcher at Karro Foods, in Malton, North Yorkshire, was shown a picture of Ms Squire and asked if she was alive.
Ms Jackson said the defendant replied: ‘I don’t know? How am I supposed to know?’
When asked where Ms Squire was, he answered: ‘I didn’t abduct her.’
In his next interview, which took place at 1.59pm the following day, Relowicz told detectives: ‘I know nothing and this is the whole truth. I haven’t kidnapped anybody, this isn’t kidnapping is it?
‘I even want to help so that she’s found.’
He told police he parked in Haworth Street on the evening of January 31 because he planned to go for a run, but he saw Ms Squire ‘sitting crying’, the court heard.
He said: ‘I feel sorry for the girl because she was crying.’
The court heard that Relowicz told police: ‘I walked past the girl and she says to me ‘Stop please’. She said ‘I need help’. And I was asking ‘What’s up?’.
‘She went ‘I need to go home, I need my mother’ and she was crying, she was all in tears.’
He added: ‘She was drunk and it seems to me that either she had been taking something or somebody had given her something. She was behaving strangely.’
He said he offered to give Ms Squire a lift home in his car and described how she ‘nearly walked on to the road, where the cars were coming’ and held his hand as they walked, the court heard.
Ms Jackson said he told police he sat in his car to warm it up and, when Ms Squire got in, he fastened her seatbelt for her.
Relowicz told police he asked Ms Squire for directions as he drove and she directed him towards the Oak Road playing fields, where he said he would take his dog and son, the court heard.
But he said he told her to get out of his car because she looked like she might vomit and she fell over in the snow and knelt on the floor, crying, the jury was told.
The court heard that Relowicz told police he drove away and saw Ms Squire walking on the pavement.
He said in his interview: ‘I know nothing more about it. I’ve never seen her since.’
He told police he returned home, sat with his wife, had a bath and watched a film but, at some point, drove to see if Ms Squire was ‘lying anywhere’, the court heard.
He said: ‘I drove but there was nothing lying so I drove round and that was it.’
The trial was adjourned until Wednesday.
Tuesday’s exchanges came after the Sheffield court heard witness testimony from the last person to see Ms Squire alive.
Sainsbury’s manager Matthew Handisides heard her scream ‘don’t leave me’ just moments before she disappeared, the court heard.
Mr Handisides saidhe was walking home down Beverley Road in Hull when he noticed the drunken student.
He said his attention was initially grabbed by a car with its headlights on before he was drawn to a ‘movement in the shadows’.
He said: ‘I noticed a young girl or lady on the ground. She was sat with her legs akimbo [with hands on the hips and elbows turned outwards].
‘She was yelling, not towards me but to the car or the shadows, “don’t leave me” I made an assessment that she was very intoxicated.
The “don’t leave me” was more angry or cross rather than pleading or anything like that.’
Mr Handisides said he thought the car was of medium size but that he couldn’t make out its colour or if anyone was inside it because of the light.
He added he assumed the stricken woman was talking to her partner, although there was no mention of one, and carried on walking home.
‘From being a student myself I have plenty of female friends and have seen those kinds of interactions on nights out,’ he said.
‘Although I didn’t see a boyfriend, the way she was saying it was similar to how I’d seen my friends interact with their boyfriends.’
Prosecutor Mr Wright asked if he saw her again, to which the witness replied ‘no’. He also replied ‘no’ when asked if he saw any other man close to her at the time.
The court also previously heard heard evidence from three of Ms Squire’s friends who were with her hours before she disappeared on January 31.
Her housemate Amelia Cummins said they began drinking while getting ready at home before going on to a house party and a club.
A detective showed Sheffield Crown Court images of Relowicz and Ms Squire, taken from cameras around Hull, East Yorkshire, on the evening of January 31 2019 and into the following morning
Detective Constable James Grandidge, of Humberside Police, played a number of CCTV clips to the jury of five men and seven women showing the separate movements of Ms Squire and Relowicz and the moments they were seen together
In a written statement read by the prosecution, she said: ‘We all had a good time, Libby was happy and funny. She was laughing and generally enjoying herself.
‘Libby appeared fine in herself and didn’t appear to have anything worrying her or any concerns.’
Ms Cummins said they began getting ready at around 7.30pm and that Ms Squire drunk two large vodka cranberries followed by a vodka coke and a bottle of wine after moving on to a friend’s house.
At the house, she chatted with a friend from her philosophy course at the University of Hull called Nathan Murphy, the court heard.
In a statement read about by the prosecution, he said: ‘Libby was in good spirits. She was welcoming and friendly.
‘Other than being cold and drunk she seemed fine in all other respects.’
Mr Relowicz, of Hull, denies raping and murdering the philosophy student on February 1 2019
Ms Squire left the house party for a club at around 11pm, Ms Cummins said, but that she was ‘struggling walking’.
In a statement, Ms Squire’s other housemate Chloe Wise said: ‘As we walked to the club Libby’s level of intoxication became more noticeable.
‘I was of the belief that the fresh air might have hit her.’
After being refused entry to the club for being ‘too drunk’ Ms Cummins and Ms Wise put Libby into a taxi and sent her back to their shared house, the court heard.
The court also heard from two more witnesses who spotted Libby on the street before she vanished.
University of Hull mechanical engineering student Joshua Scott said he was walking home from work at around 11.45am when he saw her.
In a statement read out by the prosecution, he said: ‘The female looked really drunk and seemed unable to stand. She was being loud, either singing or shouting, but she didn’t seem distressed.’
Mr Scott said by the time he got to the woman she was already being helped by Mr Jones, who the court heard from this morning, so he carried on walking home.