A butcher accused of raping and murdering Hull University student Libby Squire is “utterly disgusting” but there is no evidence he committed the crimes, jurors have been told.
Pawel Relowicz is said to have picked up the drunk and distressed 21-year-old as he went “prowling around the student area” waiting for a chance to target a vulnerable young woman, according to prosecutors.
He is alleged to have picked her up and taken her to playing fields before killing her and dumping her body in the River Hull early on 1 February, 2019.
Squire’s body was found in the Humber Estuary weeks later.
Hull resident Relowicz, 26, who has previously admitted a string of sexually motivated offences, denies the charges and Sheffield Crown Court has heard he will argue they had consensual sex and that he does not know how she died.
On Monday, Polish-born Relowicz told his defence lawyer Oliver Saxby QC that he was driving around Hull the evening before Squire’s disappearance because he “was looking for a woman to have easy sex with”.
His past offences include voyeurism, outraging public decency and burglary. Upon arresting the married father-of-two, who worked as a butcher in Malton, North Yorkshire, police found sex toys and women’s underwear he stole from break-ins.
CCTV also shows Relowicz appeared to masturbate on the street the same night Squire went missing, jurors have heard.
“To say he has a problem barely scratches the surface,” Saxby said.
“How he has behaved, what he has done – it is utterly disgusting.
“Let me spell it out: he has violated homes, he has violated the intimate possessions of student girls, he has violated intimate moments and he has expressed his enjoyment at all of this by masturbating at the time, and elsewhere – including in public places.
“It is, I repeat, disgusting. What he did I don’t doubt will have been extremely frightening. And you will hate him for it. That’s the reality, being frank.
“Why wouldn’t you?”
Relowicz said he had previously denied his sexually motivated offences because of his wife and children but now accepted he had a problem.
Speaking through an interpreter, he said he had a “fetish” for watching couples have sex and was “excited” by other people’s sex toys.
He said he liked to masturbate with knickers found in the boot of his car and had a fetish for masturbating in front of people.
However, he insisted he has never assaulted a woman and that he was not excited by the idea of rough sex or rape.
Relowicz said he wanted to “watch people” and look “through the windows and masturbate” on the evening of 31 January.
He said he saw Squire on the pavement and went to help her as she cried and shouted.
The defendant told jurors he did not force her into the car, and that while she was “barely” able to stand he felt she understood everything he said to her.
He said he drove Squire to Oak Road Playing Fields and stopped when she sounded like she would vomit, then she ran from the car and fell to the ground.
Relowicz said she asked him to hug her and then they started kissing before having sex near the car.
He told jurors she tried to kiss him after sex but he did not want to, so she scratched at his face and he drove home as she shouted for him not to leave her.
After returning home to watch porn in the bath, he went back to Oak Road to see if he could find Squire at 2.25am and thought she might have gone home, the court was told.
Saxby said that screams heard by witnesses early on 1 February could have come from a “disorientated and confused” Squire, and that Relowicz had returned home by the time they were made.
He said the defendant “is left simply saying: ‘I didn’t do it, I don’t know what happened, I wasn’t there, I cannot say’”.
The trial continues.