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Libby Squire’s mum speaks bravely of lessons to be learnt from her daughter’s murder

Libby Squire and mum Lisa

Lisa Squire, the mother of 21-year-old Libby, a student from High Wycombe who was raped and murdered in Hull in 2019, has spoken to Bucks Radio about how she hopes lessons can be learnt from her daughter’s death.

Libby was studying at Hull University when, after a night out with friends, she was taken to Oak Park playing fields by Pawel Relowicz at around midnight on 1st February 2019, where he attacked her before putting her body into the Hull River.

Relowicz was quickly arrested after police spotted him getting Libby into his car on CCTV. He was ultimately convicted and sentenced to a minimum of 27 years in prison.

Telling us about her daughter, Lisa said: “She was amazing – really thoughtful and caring. She was a good kid.“

[VIDEO: Lisa Squire talks about her daughter, Libby]

Recalling how the tragedy began for her, she told us: “Just after 1am I had a phone call from one of her friends who she’d been out with that night, saying that they couldn’t find her.”

“That was the start of the nightmare,” she added.

Heartbreakingly, Lisa described having a kind of sixth sense that the worst possibly scenario was unfolding: “I couldn’t feel the left-hand side of my body – I was numb down one side. It was the most bizarre feeling. I just couldn’t feel her, I couldn’t connect to her. It was just horrendous. It was a mother’s intuition I guess, but I just knew that she’d gone.”

[VIDEO: Libby's mum heartbreakingly describes fearing the worst]

Lisa stressed to us that she is taking the opportunity to speak out now because she wants what happened to Libby to be a vehicle for change – in people’s behaviour but also potentially to the law as well.

While she stressed to us that she does not want anyone to feel guilty, there is a 40-minute window between when her daughter was refused entry into a nightclub and when she encountered her attacker where things might have been done differently.

Lisa explained: “The first mistake is that the girls put her in a taxi on her own. She was drunk. When she got in the taxi, she couldn’t put her own seatbelt on, they had to do it for her, which begs the question how did they think that she was going to get into a house on her own?”

Lisa is also dismayed at why the doorman of the nightclub sent Libby away on her own, rather than insisting a friend go with her.

When Libby got out of the taxi at her student house, she didn’t go inside, but instead wandered back towards the main road, staggering and crying as she went.

As she made her way south down Beverley Road towards the city centre, many people noticed her stumbling or sitting on the snow-covered ground, clearly in distress. It was -2.5°C that night.

Some passers-by did ask her if she was ok – and at one point Libby even wound up inside another student house, as the occupants tried to comfort her. Ultimately though, everyone let her go on her way into the night.

Libby’s mum told us: “Numerous people walked passed her and commented on how upset she was, how cold it was and how vulnerable she was but nobody did anything – nobody picked the phone up to an ambulance or a police car.”

[VIDEO: Lisa details some lessons that could be learnt from the night of her daughter's murder]

Another frustrating aspect of Libby’s case for her mother, is the fact that the man who attacked her daughter had nine previous convictions for sexual offences – for crimes such as indecent exposure, watching women undress and stealing women’s underwear.

These are generally referred to as ‘non-contact sexual offences’ and Lisa Squire believes they should be taken far more seriously – in fact she has a meeting with the Prime Minister on 15th March to make her case.

Looking ahead to her sit down with Boris Johnson, Lisa said: “Not every man who commits a non-contact sexual offence will go on to become a rapist and murderer but non-contact sexual offences are not normal things to be doing, so I want to talk to him about prevention and treatment services for those and basically ask what his government is going to do to keep women safe.”

[VIDEO: Lisa Squire explains what she wants to ask the Prime Minister when they meet]

In a move that might seem curious to some, Lisa has also recently requested to meet Libby’s killer.

“I don’t know how Libby died – there’s no cause of death. That’s a constant question in my mind,” she said, adding, “It feels like something else I can do for her – to try to find out the whole story.”

[VIDEO: Libby's mother tells us what she wants to ask the man who killed her daughter]

 

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