LIBBY Squire's distraught mum today recalled the moment she knew something was "seriously wrong" in a harrowing statement read at her murder trial.
Lisa Squire, 49, had taken her daughter back to Hull University just four days before she was allegedly raped, murdered and dumped in a river by Pawel Relowicz.
In a statement read to Sheffield Crown Court, she recalled how she knew something was wrong when Libby failed to return her messages and calls.
She had also received a call from Libby's pals just after 1am on February 1, 2019, saying she had gone missing and that the police had been called.
The nurse, from High Wycombe, Bucks, said: "I knew something wasn’t right and told her friend to call the taxi company, they had been to her favourite taxi companies and they had contacted the police.
"We made the decision not to panic and go straight to Hull as she could have gone to another friend’s house.
"I knew she had a lecture that day and would never miss a lecture so if she didn’t go to that something would be seriously wrong.
"We travelled to Hull and knew something serious had happened. It was not in her character and she was not answering her texts or calls.
"She was planning her future and was in the best place in her life she had ever been."
Lisa told how she was reluctant to let her daughter go to university in 2017 to study philosophy and religion as she had struggled with mental health issues.
She revealed at one stage of Libby's battle with an eating disorder and self-harming, she "never thought I would have her for the rest of our lives".
But jurors heard determined Libby was in a "really good place" and had enjoyed a gap year travelling to Paris.
Lisa said: "Libby was always funny and had a wicked sense of humour. She could make everybody laugh.
"She had the ability to put people at ease and could talk to anyone. She was a girly girl, a real people person.
"Libby loved life at university and settled in well. She worked hard and enjoyed her course.
"She enjoyed nights out and would get drunk like any normal student."
Lisa also told of her "special bond" with her museum-loving daughter who wanted a career in journalism.
She said: "We were that in sync with each other I would describe us as being as one."
Libby’s mum’s heartbreaking statement
"I knew everything there was to know about Libby, we were that in sync with each other that I would describe us as being one.
"Libby was extremely close to all her family and siblings, particularly her brother Joe, who she had a very special bond with.
"She was planning her future and was in the best place in her life she had ever been."
She added: "I would describe Libby as a girly girl and she was a real people person.
"Libby was always happy to see friends and family and would often greet people with a big hug."
Speaking about Libby moving to Hull for university in 2017, Mrs Squire said: "Although Libby was in a good place in her life I was reluctant to let her move away from home.
"But she was planning her future and she was adamant. She was in a good place when she started university.
"She enjoyed the student life and socialised regularly with her friends. She enjoyed nights out and would get drunk like any normal student.
"Libby would often drink herself to the point of being sick and I have regularly collected her from parties and had to carry her into the car or the house."
Mrs Squire said her daughter had "got into the habit" of not taking her phone on nights out because she didn't want to risk losing or damaging it.
She added: "Libby was always funny and had a wicked sense of humour, she could make everybody laugh.
"She was always very creative and chatty, she had an ability to put people at ease and could talk to anybody. She would never leave anybody out of the conversation."
Mrs Squire said as a child her daughter overcame an eating disorder but went on to suffer from depression in her teens and began to self harm aged 14.
She said in her statement: "This was a difficult time in Libby's life, which she managed for a number of years.
"It was during this time that our bond became even stronger.
"She was always honest with me regarding her self harming and would tell me when she had done it.
"I would help her clean herself up, dress her wounds and would always make sure she had clean blades and antiseptic wipes.
"During this period I always worried about Libby and feared that one day I would find her dead in her bedroom."
Mrs Squire said Libby became suicidal aged 15, adding: "Due to her self harming Libby had scarring over her arms, legs and chest, which she was very conscious about.
"Because of these problems I never really thought I would have Libby for the rest of my life, there was always a fear she would harm herself.
"But with support Libby was able to move forward."
Prior to her death Libby had not self harmed for eight months, her mum said.
She added that her daughter was scared of water and the dark, saying: "I know she would never voluntarily put herself in water – especially moving water.
"She was always scared of the dark and would never take a shortcut home or walk down a street with little light."
Mrs Squires said she received a photo from Libby on the night of her disappearance and that she knew she was going out.
She found out her daughter had gone missing in the early hours of February 1 and said she knew immediately something "wasn't right".
Mrs Squire said: "It was not in Libby's character to disappear.
"I tried numerous times to contact her but she did not reply to any messages or calls."
Jurors heard today Relowicz, 26, was seen on CCTV on February 1, 2019, "stalking" the drunk student, 19, before he "darted" across the road to "intercept" her, it was said.
The court heard just minutes later, she was driven to playing fields by Relowicz in his silver Vauxhall Astra.
It was in this remote spot he allegedly raped Libby, who was "scared of the dark and terrified of the water", and dumped her "dead or dying" in the River Hull.
She was discovered six weeks later on March 20 in the Humber estuary by a fishing boat – a gold necklace bearing the letter 'L' still hanging around her neck.
A post mortem could not establish a cause of death but DNA matching Relowicz was found on her, it was said.
Jurors heard today how witness Sam Alford reported hearing a "series of screams" coming from the secluded field.
Richard Wright QC, prosecuting, 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."
'UNCONTROLLABLE SEXUAL URGES'
The court heard Mr Alford was looking out of his window a few minutes after the last scream when he saw a man "emerging from the darkness" running.
Relowicz allegedly left the playing field around seven-and-a-half minutes later without Libby.
Mr Wright said this was "more than enough time" for him to have "taken or pursued Libby out into the playing fields, sexually attacked and killed her, put her body into the river, and then run back to his car."
He told jurors Relowicz's "sole purpose" was to "silence her screams" after he raped Libby.
The prosecutor added: "Her screams, and the scratches that she clearly managed to land on the face of the defendant as she fought him off, are just part of the evidence that establishes that she was raped by a man whose entire motivation for coming into contact with her that night was to take her away from safety to a remote area well known to him and there to subject her to his uncontrollable sexual urges.
"His very purpose in prowling the streets was in order to commit opportunistic sexual offences and the rape of Libby was just such an offence."
The court was told Libby's final moments using CCTV footage taken between 11.57pm and 12.08am as Relowicz waited nearby on foot.
Mr Wright 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."
Relowicz is then seen returning to his car for three minutes while he waits for another car to leave the residential street, jurors were told.
There was then some "toing and froing" between him and Libby before sheenters the vehicle – her gold watch later found damaged near the spot she was "intercepted".
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."
Libby's father, Russ, left the public gallery while the clips were played, while her mother, Lisa, held a tissue to her face as she watched.
'HEIGHTENED SEXUAL AROUSAL'
The court was also told Relowicz returned to the playing fields in the early hours of the morning after Libby had vanished.
CCTV footage was said to have captured him standing with his knees bent performing a sex act on himself in the street.
He had also visited a porn site twice in the hours after Libby died and had been "in a state of heightened sexual arousal that night", jurors heard.
Two days later, on February 3, a used condom containing DNA matching Relowicz was discovered in the area.
After he was arrested, police found a pink holdall containing "trophies… taken in a series of sexually motivated burglaries", the court was told.
This included sex toys, photographs of young women and several pairs of women's knickers and thongs, it was said.
Mr Wright told jurors Relowicz had exposed himself to women and performed sex acts on himself in the street in the year before Libby's death.
He also allegedly watched them through their windows as they changed or had sex and swiped underwear and sex toys from women's homes.
The jury were told Relowicz had pleaded guilty to nine sexually motivated offences, committed in the months before Libby Squire's death including voyeurism, outraging public decency and burglary.
After he was arrested over Libby's death Relowicz said he encountered the sudent "by chance" and claimed he was acting as a "Good Samaritan".
Libby’s last moments
January 31, 2019
Libby leaves her student home at Wellesley Avenue with friends at about 8.30pm and they walked to another student house on Cromer Street together
The group leave at about 11pm to walk to The Welly nightclub, at the junction of Wellington Lane and Beverley Road, where they arrive at 11.20pm
Libby is refused entry to the The Welly and is put in a taxi by her friends just before 11.30pm
The taxi drops her in Wellesley Avenue but she does not go home. She instead walks towards Beverley Road where she falls over in the street
Libby enters another house on Wellesley Avenue after the occupants heard her crying. She says she wants to go home but sets off towards Beverley Road, dropping her keys outside the house she left
She is then approached by a woman who tried to help her outside the former convent at the Endsleigh Centre, on Beverley Road
Two men try to help Libby as she lays in the snow near the junction of Haworth Road and Beverley Road. They were there from 11.40pm to 11.49pm
Another woman steps in to help as she sits on the floor near a bus stop close to the same junction. A supermarket manager spots her in the same location
Relowicz's Vauxhall Astra arrives at the end of Haworth Street at 11.57pm. The defendant gets out of the car, crosses the road to Beresford Avenue and tracks Libby as she walks back up Beverley Road
February 1, 2019
They interact outside the Endsleigh Centre and entered the grounds before walking back to the car at the end of Haworth Street
Relowicz drives off from Haworth Street at 12.08am with Libby in the car
They arrive at Oak Road playing fields at 12.11am
A man living in the house at the entrance to the playing fields wakes at 12.14am and "after a period that he thought was a couple of minutes" hears a woman screaming in the park. The man then sees a young man running from the park "perhaps a few minutes after the last scream"
At 12.19am, CCTV captures Relowicz's indicators flashing as he unlocks his car
Relowicz arrives home in Raglan Street at 12.23am
He leaves home again at 2.22am and drives back to Oak Road playing fields, arriving at 2.25am. He stays for a little over four minutes
Relowicz then drives around, arriving in Alexandra Road at 2.51am, walking over Newlands Avenue and performing a sex act in the street
He arrives back at Raglan Street but walks back to Newland Avenue where he is captured "walking up and down the road in that area for no apparent reason and exhibiting some strange behaviour"
The prosecution sayRelowicz raped and murdered Miss Squire at Oak Road playing fields after arriving at 12.11am. They say he put her dead or dying into the River Hull, which runs along the north east of the park. They say this could have been at the 12.11am visit or the later one at 2.25am.
March 20, 2019
Libby's body is found in the Humber Estuary, off Spurn Point, by a fishing boat
Libby was originally from High Wycombe in Bucks but at the time of her death was living with three girls in Hull while she carried out her studies.
She had suffered with depression growing up but at the time of her death was “coping well with life and not depressed”, jurors were told.
On the night she vanished, she had been drinking with friends and appeared "in good spirits" before the group headed to the nightclub in the city centre at around 11pm.
But once there, security staff on the door refused to let her in because she appeared to be drunk so she told her friends she would walk home instead.
Her friends put her in a taxi, which dropped Libby off close to her home but she "walked away from the safety of her front door".
Toxicology tests later revealed she was two-and-a-half times the drink-drive limit when she died.
Mr Wright said: “It was freezing cold, there was snow on the ground and [Libby] was not dressed for the weather. She was drunk, she was likely hypothermic, and she was in deep distress.
“She had lost her house keys, she was crying, she had fallen repeatedly to the floor as she tried to walk and she was extremely vulnerable.
“Some good citizens had tried to help her, but in her intoxicated state she became agitated to the point that they gave up their efforts and left her by the roadside. From there she had seemingly vanished.”
'DON'T LEAVE ME'
She was later seen by passers-by "obviously drunk" and "sobbing" – including two men who spotted the student lying in the snow at the side of the road.
Jurors heard the bystanders tried to help her but were unable to understand what she was saying and she became verbally aggressive so they drove away.
A group of students who heard Libby crying outside their house let her in but she left, saying she wanted to go home, it was said.
The court was told a shop manager also saw Libby sat on the pavement shortly after midnight appearing to shout "don't leave me" at a nearby car.
Meanwhile, Relowicz was seen on CCTV "cruising around the student area" as though he was "effectively on patrol, looking for an opportunity to present itself to him", jurors heard.
Libby's parents, Lisa and Russ, are both in court today watching proceedings.
Lisa affectionately referred to her daughter as “Pie” and previously said she had lost “one of the four most precious things in my life”.
She added: “I cannot thank you enough my darling Pie for making me a mummy. For choosing me to be your mummy. It’s an honour, a privilege and a joy.
“I kept you safe for as long as I could and I am so sorry I could not keep you safe on that night. I’m sorry. I’m so so sorry.”
Relowicz, who is using a Polish interpreter to watch proceedings, denies rape and murder.
The trial continues.
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