21-year-old student was joking, drinking and laughing with pals at party just hours before murder, Sheffield Crown Court told
A “happy” and “funny” 21-year-old student was joking, drinking and laughing with pals at a party just hours before she was allegedly murdered by a Polish butcher, a court has heard.
Libby Squire vanished following a night out with friends in Hull, East Yorks, on February 1, 2019, and her body was recovered from the Humber Estuary seven weeks later.
Pawel Relowicz, 26, is accused of finding the student "drunk and vulnerable" then “stalking” her before picking her up in his car and raping her then dumping her body.
A court earlier heard Relowicz had "uncontrollable sexual urges" and previous convictions for “sexually motivated” crimes in which he “prowled” around the student area of Hull.
Sheffield Crown Court was told evidence on Monday from three of Libby’s friends who were with her hours before she disappeared on January 31.
Libby’s housemate Amelia Cummins said they began drinking while getting ready at home before going on to a house party and a club.
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 Libby 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.”
Libby left the house party for a club at around 11pm, Ms Cummins said, but that she was “struggling walking”.
In a statement, Libby’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.
Ms Cummins said: “I think she was annoyed at herself for getting so drunk and being refused entry.
“That was the last time I saw Libby.”
Ms Cummins said she text Libby at 12.13am on February 1 and became concerned after not hearing back so returned home at around 12.55am.
She added: “We checked the whole of the house but she was not there.
“We didn’t feel too concerned but we decided to go and look for her.”
Ms Cummins and Ms Wise spent about an hour driving around the student area of Hull searching for Libby before ringing the police, it was heard.
The court also heard evidence from a number of people who saw Libby between the time she exited the taxi at around 23.30pm and the time she disappeared shortly after midnight.
Student Jorge Thompson was with a group of friends who saw her get out of the car.
In a statement read about by the prosecution, he said: “She appeared quite drunk, she was stumbling everywhere.
“She had walked about 30 metres up the road when she seemed to slip over.
“We asked her if she was okay, she started to get up and said she was fine. She was slurring her words.”
Mr Thompson said the taxi driver “assured” his group of friends he would “make sure” Libby was “alright”.
The court also heard from Hannah Wright, who lived on the same road as Libby and saw her in a distressed state at around 11.40am.
In a statement read about by the prosecution, she said: “I was watching TV when my attention was turned to the sound of a female crying and sobbing, someone was obviously distressed.”
Ms Wright said she went outside and saw the woman sitting on the floor with tear streaks down her face before letting her into the house.
She told the court that she, along with two of her own housemates, asked the woman if she needed help or a taxi or a friend calling.
Ms Wright added: “She was too drunk to comprehend what we were asking her.
“She was with us for about five minutes. We couldn’t get any information from her to help her.
“At one point she said, ‘can you let me go, I want to go’.
“We didn’t want to add to her duress.
“She wasn’t that communicative and she left. We were all a bit shocked, we hoped she would be okay.”
Prosecutor Richard Wright QC told the court Libby's house key was later recovered from Ms Wright's garden.
The court also heard from two of the last people to see Libby alive, including Lorna Allen who saw the student lying on the ground crying at around 11.45pm.
In a statement read about by the prosecution, she said: “She was crying and screaming, she was in a state.
“I couldn’t understand her because she was pissed.
“She was slurring her words and talking to herself, she seemed very drunk.
“I said to her ‘are you alright?’ and she replied ‘I just want to go home’.
“I watched her for about five minutes because I was concerned, she then got up and walked off.
"I was scared to call the police but when they later showed me a picture of a missing student I recognised her as the girl I saw that night."
Roland Jones was on his way home from a darts match when he spotted Libby lying on the ground in the snow with blood on her knees.
In a statement read about by the prosecution, he said that he stopped to help because he “would not like to see my daughter in that state”.
Mr Jones added: “I went straight over to the girl laid on the floor, I didn’t know what to think at the time.
“She was mumbling, I couldn’t understand what she was actually saying.”
Mr Jones said the woman asked him if he would lie down with her before he was able to get her on to her feet.
He added: “For some reason, she just started swearing.
“One minute she was alright and the next she was swearing.”
Mr Jones said he tried to help the girl get home and remained with her for around ten minutes before leaving.
Relowicz denies one count of rape and another of murder.
The trial continues.