Man heard screams ‘lasting up to seven minutes’ on night Libby Squire ‘murdered’

A witness claims to have heard screaming which lasted for up to “seven minutes” and “sounded like desperation” on the night of Libby Squire’s alleged murder, a court heard.

Pawel Relowicz, 26, is accused of raping and killing the student after she had been on a night out with friends in Hull in February 2019.

Sam Alford, whose property backs up onto the field where the prosecution allege Relowicz murdered the 21-year-old gave evidence at the trial at Sheffield Crown Court today.

The prosecution says Relowicz drove the distressed victim to playing fields on Oak Road after “persuading or forcing” her to get into his car in the Avenues area of Hull.

He denies the charges.

Mr Alford told the jury he spoke to police about “screams” he heard and said he saw a man walking away from the playing fields on February 1.

He said: “I woke up, looked at my phone to check a text. It was 12.14am and around a minute or two after that’s when I heard the first scream.

“The screams were far away but they were loud enough to reach my bedroom, around roughly 150 metres. Not loud to me, but loud enough to reach my bedroom.

“Initially, some screams were intermittent with 30 seconds or a minute between them.

“At first I sort of ignored them then the second one was a pattern to them and then that’s what sort of made me think.

“It’s hard because where I live is near the uni accommodation is teenagers on the park, girls screaming, people out having parties on the park so you tend to ignore it.

“It happens all the time.

“Then I heard the screams again and when I looked I couldn’t see anyone on the park. The screams were enough to make me think, ‘what could that be?’ but it was the pattern – they weren’t constant and that’s what sort of stood out for me.

“They sounded like desperation.”

Mr Alford said the screams carried on for “between four to seven minutes.”

He said after the last scream he went to the toilet and when he returned to his bedroom he continued to look out of his window.

Mr Alford said: “I was just looking out of the window, wondering if it was a group of people or if I could see anyone coming off the park.”

It was then, he says, he saw a “male walking off the park” after looking out of the for “three or four minutes”.

Mr Alford said: “He was walking in a manner where he wasn’t looking behind, asserting where he wanted to go, like he wanted to get off the park.

“When I first saw him, he was walking off the park with his head straight forward and moving with an urgency and then he left.”

He continued: “There was an urgency about the way he was moving. He was moving with a purpose, he didn’t look back once.”

He added that the man was wearing either “fitted dark coloured joggers” or “cuffed jeans” and a “bomber style jacket”.

The court also heard from the man who discovered Libby’s body today.

She was found in the Humber Estuary. It is alleged that she was pushed into the river Hull by her attacker.

Paul Secker says he is the owner of a fishing boat.

He said that at 6.45am he and three friends went out fishing. They left Grimsby Marina and sailed out to the river Humber and fished around “four miles away.”

At 12pm, the boat was moved to south of Spurn Point and the anchor was dropped and the group began fishing.

He said: “After a few hours I could see an object floating towards the boat and could see it was a human body, face up. I could see a face and black clothing.

“I watched as it continued floating past my boat towards Grimsby. I immediately contacted the vessel traffic system and informed them. They asked me to keep an eye on it.”

The Humber Lifeboat was deployed and Mr Secker directed where he last saw the body.

Drew Baxter is part of the RNLI crew at Humber Lifeboat.

He said they were called out to a report that a body had been spotted in the water.

He said: “We were commencing our search. The tides were coming in. When we arrived we commenced a search of the area. Within five minutes we received a further radio message that another boat had a visual.

“We found the Cleethorpes RNLI lifeboat on the scene. We pulled alongside the body in the water. I set about organising the crew.

“I was stood in the recovery well and I noticed three or four earrings and a gold necklace around the neck. I could see a black sports bra and that was it on the top of the body,a skirt and black and white trainers. We made our way to Grimsby docks.”

Jamie White was also on duty with the RNLI.

He said: “On arrival in Grimsby I stopped with the casualty until the police arrived. We were asked to unzip the pouch and I could see a necklace with the letter ‘L’ on.”

The trial continues.