The man who raped and murdered the Hull University student Libby Squire and dumped her body in a river has given a life sentence with a minimum term of 27 years.
Pawel Relowicz encountered the intoxicated and probably hypothermic student late on 31 January 2019 and drove her to Oak Road playing fields in Hull where he carried out the crimes.
Jurors at Sheffield crown court deliberated for six days before finding Relowicz, 26, guilty on Thursday.
On Friday he was sentenced to a minimum of 18 years for the rape, to run concurrently with the life sentence for murder and with previous sentences for voyeurism, outraging public decency and sexually motivated burglaries.
Relowicz has been a serving prisoner throughout his remand but none of those days will be deducted from the minimum term, meaning his sentence started on Friday.
He showed no emotion during the four-week trial, and on Friday he stood and stared at Squire’s parents, Lisa and Russ Squire, for more than a minute as the sentence was delivered.
The judge Mrs Justice Lambert said Relowicz had been correctly described by another judge in a previous case as having conducted a “perverted campaign of sexually deviant behaviour”.
She said: “He also considered you to be potentially a very dangerous individual. Again, he was correct to do so. Your offending escalated, you grew increasingly emboldened. No doubt you were increasingly confident you would not and could not be caught.”
Lambert accepted that Relowicz may not have intended to kill 21-year-old Squire, but she called it a “malignant twist of fate” that his path had crossed with that the confused and upset student that night.
“You remained in the shadow of the treeline until you were sure she [Squire] was alone. From the moment you intercepted her, Liberty Squire did not stand a chance.”
On the night of the murder, Relowicz had “prowled the streets” of Hull’s student area in a state of “heightened sexual arousal” in search of a vulnerable young woman. Upon encountering Squire, Relowicz offered her a lift home, and he claimed at trial that he had “only wanted to help”. She was last seen on CCTV getting into Relowicz’s car.
The jury dismissed Relowicz’s claim that they had consensual sex, and accepted the prosecution case that he cajoled or forced her into his car before driving to a secluded area of Oak Road playing fields.
He then attacked her before dumping her, dead or dying, in the river. Pathologists were unable to determine how or when she died because her body had been in the water for almost seven weeks when it was found in the Humber Estuary.
In a victim impact statement, Squire’s mother said: “There are no words that can explain the torture of living without my Libby. I now live in two worlds where I live as a mother, wife, friend and employee, but there is also a world that will run parallel and it’s a dark and lonely world.
“In this world I long to die so I can be with my girl. I wake up with disappointment that I will live another day. My memories of her are always in my thoughts and I will never allow our bond to be broken.”