Lisa Squire on Libby, loss and legacy

January 6, 2023. Series 7. Episode 55

This is one of the most difficult crisis conversations we’ve had to date and some will find this episode distressing. It’s a discussion about unimaginable trauma – the loss of a child in the most horrendous circumstances. Our guest is Lisa Squire, mother of Libby, a 21-year-old student who disappeared after a night out in Hull with university friends in January 2019. 48 days later Libby’s body was discovered in the Humber Estuary. She had been raped and murdered by Polish 24year old Pawel Relowicz.

The terrifying initial uncertainty of Libby’s abduction, the horror when her death was discovered and the pain of a court case that ultimately offered only some degree of closure, make this a crisis like few others. Lisa, as you will hear, has taken these experiences and is now putting them to work in her own unique way, on behalf of others and, of course, Libby.

Relowicz had committed a number of  non-contact sexual offences against other women in Hull before he abducted Libby. Lisa is now campaigning for those types of crime to be taken more seriously, to encourage victims to report them, but also for sentencing levels to be raised. She is also campaigning for mandatory life sentences for those convicted of rape and murder.

My thanks to Lisa who felt strongly that this episode should be heard. First and foremost to raise her campaigning issues in Libby’s name. But also to offer perspective and lessons to those facing grief or other challenges.


Lisa’s Crisis Cures: 

  1. Talking – Whether that’s to my husband, the children, my friends, my mum and dad, or Libby. You have to get it out.
  2. Writing – I write things down when they come to me, that lessens it because you can see it in black and white.
  3. Work out what you can and can’t manage that day – break it down into little bits, because the mountain is huge. I take it in five-minute blocks.


Get involved 

We’ll keep you updated on the Libby’s Legacy campaign on our social media channels. In the meantime, if you take anything away from our conversation today let it be the following:

  • Report. Report. Take non-contact sexual offences seriously.
  • If your friend can’t get into a nightclub there’ll be another opportunity. Don’t leave your friends.
  • If you see somebody, like Libby, and you feel it in your gut that something doesn’t seem right, pick the phone up and call the police, call an ambulance.



The Compassionate Friends –

Police launch campaign with Libby Squire’s family urging people to report low-level sex offences –

You can watch Libby, Are You Home Yet? On Sky Crime or online at –


Stream/Buy ‘Allies’ by Some Velvet Morning:

Some Velvet Morning Website:

Your Daily Practice: Sleep by Myndstream:


Host – Andy Coulson

CWC production team: Louise Difford, Ed Isaacs and Jane Sankey

With special thanks to Global


Full transcript:

00:00:06.03 Andy Coulson:

This is possibly the most difficult crisis conversation that we’ve had to date, and I should say now that some of this discussion will be distressing. Distressing but important.


00:00:17.09 Andy Coulson:

Our guest is Lisa Squire, mother of Libby Squire, twenty-one-year-old Hull University student, who after a night out with friends in January 2019, disappeared. Seven weeks later her body was found in the Humber Estuary. It later transpired that after being refused entry to a nightclub, Libby had been abducted, raped and murdered by a Polish national, Pawel Relowicz. He was later convicted and senesced to life, to serve no less than twenty-seven years.


00:00:45.23 Andy Coulson:

Lisa and her husband Russ, and their three other children, have endured a crisis like few others. The terrible uncertainty of their daughter’s disappearance, a horror when her body was found and the trauma of a court case which eventually brought some degree of closure. Lisa, as you will hear, is an incredible woman who has taken these experiences and put them to work on behalf of others and, of course, on behalf of Libby. She’s focused her energy, not just on getting her family through, but on ensuring a positive can come from such an appalling situation.


00:01:22.19 Andy Coulson:

Relovicz, Libby’s murderer, committee a string of less serious sex offences in the months and years before. Lisa is now campaigning, forcing her way into the prime minister’s office, no less, to demand that these non-contact sexual offences are taken more seriously, to encourage victims to report them, but also for sentencing levels to be raised. She argues that doing so might just prevent someone from escalating their crimes in the way that Relovicz did. She’s also campaigning for mandatory life sentences for those convicted of rape and murder.


00:01:56.24 Andy Coulson:

So, this is a conversation about the worst possible crisis, about grief, but it is also, as you are about to hear, about the most incredible human resilience. Lisa Squire, welcome to Crisis What Crisis.


00:02:10.08 Lisa Squire:

Thank you.


00:02:11.11 Andy Coulson:

We normally end our conversations with a thank you but I’m going to start this one by doing exactly that. You’ve joined us, Lisa, to share this incredibly difficult story in the hope, I think, that it will be helpful to others. So, thank you for doing so. I’d also like to say on behalf of all of us involved in this podcast, the team here and obviously myself, just how sorry we are for you all, for your loss, for you and your family. Lisa, let’s talk about Libby. What kind of girl was she? What kind of daughter, friend, sibling?


00:02:53.01 Lisa Squire:

She was amazing, still is, she’s still never fails to amaze me, the things that she puts in my path these days. She was quite a normal kid. I mean, when she was born, she was obviously our first born, and she was really… she was such a happy baby and a really happy toddler and you know my husband always laughed because we carried her everywhere because the family joke was that she didn’t know what her legs were for until she was about six, because we carried her around everywhere.


00:03:22.00 Lisa Squire:

But she was, as she grew up, she was quite complex with her mental health problems, and everything that went with that, but she was funny, I don’t think she realised how funny she was, she had a really dry sense of humour. She was really clever, she was happy. She was a great best friend. She had this amazing ability that when she spoke to you it made you feel like you were the only person in the room.


00:03:48.13 Lisa Squire:

And when she was missing and subsequently found, so many people said, ‘…oh she was my best friend’. And I thought, how many best friends did this woman have? But she had that ability to make you feel like she was your best friend, and you were hers. She was a great big sister, she was a good role model. And the three younger children knew what they had to do, she ruled them, which was quite interesting and always made sure that they knew that she was number one, that she was the eldest. And yeah, she was… and as a daughter to me, we were incredibly close, we spoke three or four times a day…


00:04:27.00 Andy Coulson:

Obviously, a resilient young lady as well.


00:04:30.02 Lisa Squire:

Very, very much so. Yeah, she really did struggle with her mental health from about the ages of fourteen through to eighteen I guess, maybe nineteen and she did want to go to university. But we were really honest with each other and I said to her ‘You know, I’m happy for you to go to uni but you’ve got to get yourself sorted first because it can’t happen, you can’t be in a delicate mental state because it’s just going to push you over the edge.’ And she worked really hard on her mental health for a year, she had a gap year and worked really hard on her mental health. And actually, when she went to uni she was in a really good place.


00:05:07.09 Andy Coulson:

Yes, and enjoying life with a very tight group of friends.


00:05:11.06 Lisa Squire:

Yes, yeah, loved uni, really loved it. A part of her mental health struggles were around school and schoolwork and anxiety with school. And shortly before she died she said to me, ‘Oh mum, I’ve forgotten how much I love learning’. So that was really good, you know, really lovely.


00:05:30.22 Andy Coulson:

Lisa, let’s go to January 31st, 2019, the night that Libby disappeared. When were you first aware that something was wrong?


00:05:41.22 Lisa Squire:

I was working the nightshift.


00:05:44.15 Andy Coulson:

We should explain that you’re a neonatal nurse.


00:05:46.08 Lisa Squire:

I’m a nursery nurse yes, so I work on a post-natal ward looking after all the new-born babies. And I think I was on my third of three nights. So, she’d sent me a picture message during the day which I’d looked at but didn’t answer, because I thought to myself you don’t look very happy. And I thought no, I’m not going to message her I need to go to sleep, I’ll ring her tonight.


00:06:08.17 Lisa Squire:

So, I was doing my work and I had a look at my phone and I had a missed call from Milly, her friend who she was with that night. So, I thought, that’s unusual for Milly to ring but then I thought well maybe not because maybe Libby’s used Milly’s phone. So, I rang and said, ‘…is everything alright?’ and she said, ‘…we can’t find Libby’. And I was like, ‘…well what do you mean, you can’t find Libby?’ And she said ‘Well…’ then told me that she hadn’t got into a nightclub, she’d gone home in a cab. And I immediately was plunged into this world that I just knew wasn’t, I knew it wasn’t right.


00:06:41.23 Andy Coulson:



00:06:42.18 Lisa Squire:

Instant. So I said to the girls ‘…oh don’t worry, she’s probably just gone to a friend’s house or something’. So, I was trying to placate them and I put the phone down and one of my colleagues said ‘Are you okay?’ And I said, ‘No, they can’t find Libby.’ And they said, ‘…what do you mean?’ And I said, ‘I think she’s dead.’ And that was my first thing I said. Because I couldn’t feel her, I just couldn’t feel her. It was like…


00:07:05.13 Andy Coulson:

You felt that the connection had broken?


00:07:07.13 Lisa Squire:

Yes, yes it was really strange because Libby was always on my left-hand side, she was left-handed, so she always would stand in the way on your left-hand side. And it was like I just couldn’t feel my left-hand side. It was the most bizarre feeling. And yeah, that night then just moved on from me doing my observations with the babies and doing all the things I needed to do, then going into the staff room and phoning all the taxi companies to try and find out which taxi company it was, because the girls didn’t know.


00:07:37.14 Andy Coulson:

You carried on working?


00:07:37.21 Lisa Squire:

Yeah, well I was at work and I couldn’t not do my job. And I thought, you know, there was a voice in my head saying you’re blowing this out of all proportion, she’ll come home in the morning, she’ll be fine. But there was another voice saying this is really serious. It was like… so I thought well…


00:07:55.08 Andy Coulson:

You’re feeling something completely different.


00:07:57.01 Lisa Squire:

Yeah, completely felt differently. So I just carried on working and did the two, looking for her, working, sort of. We phoned hospitals to see if she’d been taken in. Obviously they’d contacted the police as well overnight. So, I was talking to them, checking in with the kids, the other  young people that she’d been out with that night, making sure that they were okay. Sort of saying to them, ‘go to bed, have a sleep, I’ll call you in minute and I’ll call you in the morning’.


00:08:24.11 Andy Coulson:

So how quickly were you able to discover that she’d got into a cab and got out of a cab?


00:08:30.11 Lisa Squire:

They phoned me at nine minutes past one in the morning. So, like an hour and a half, two hours after she’d left the club. And we didn’t know that she’d got out of the cab because we didn’t know who’d dropped her off, what taxi company it was that picked her up. You know, we didn’t know that. And of course, there was another housemate in the house. So I spoke to her and she said, ‘…no she hasn’t come home’. So, it was like, okay so she was in a cab and where is she now?


00:09:00.19 Andy Coulson:

Yes, and what we know now, of course, is that she got out of the cab, we think at her address…


00:09:05.12 Lisa Squire:

Yes, it was at her address, he dropped her off outside her house.


00:09:08.18 Andy Coulson:

And had wandered a short distance away.


00:09:12.08 Lisa Squire:



00:09:13.17 Andy Coulson:

I think you made the decision to go to Hull immediately.


00:09:16.16 Lisa Squire:

Yes, so I left work, my boss came in and she said to me, ‘Are you okay?’ And I said, ‘No’ and I told her what had happened overnight. Then it was snowing, so I had a typical British have a cup of tea before you leave, had a cup of tea. Left work and was driving home, and it must have been about quarter to nine, and then it dawned on me that I had to tell Russell and the children what had happened overnight. Because Russell had the weekend off because it was his birthday weekend, and the children were on a snow day so they weren’t going to school. So, I called him in the car and he was like, ‘Well, no, she’s probably just at a friends’ house.’ And I was like ‘No, no, she hasn’t called me. I mean, it’s been…’


00:09:56.07 Andy Coulson:

Did you share with him what you felt?


00:09:58.04 Lisa Squire:

Yeah, yeah, and he was like, ‘…no, no, no you’re just, you know, you’re catastrophising it. You know, it’s not, it’s not…’ So we got home and I phoned my mum and dad, as soon as we got home, and said look, ‘We can’t find Libby…’ and she had a lecture at two o’clock that day and I knew it was a really important lecture for her to go to. So, I said, ‘If she’s not turned up to the lecture at two, I’m going to need you and dad to come and look after the other three because Russ and I are going to have to go up to Hull.’


00:10:27.07 Andy Coulson:

So just explain what happened in that time when you arrived in Hull and what happened immediately then.


00:10:35.21 Lisa Squire:

Yes, so we drove up to Hull, which was the worst journey because it was really snowy and it was horrible driving conditions. And we drove up there. I obviously hadn’t slept because I’d been working so by two o’clock I was not in any fit state to drive. So Russell was driving. I was crying, he was crying, I was on the phone to my best friend sort of saying, ‘Oh I don’t know what to do.’ And she’s like ‘Oh, she’s…’ like everyone was trying to be really positive and ‘…she’ll be okay, you‘ll find her, you’ll find her’.


00:11:06.15 Lisa Squire:

I was talking to the girls on the phone who were with her that night. I was talking to the police. And we just kept going up. And as we drove past the Humber, I said to Russell ‘She’s in that water. She’s in there.’ And he said, ‘No don’t be silly.’ And I said, ‘No she’s in the water, I know she’s in the water.’ And it was crystal clear to me that that’s where she was. And then, of course, then your conscious mind comes back in and says no, no, no, don’t be horrible, that’s a horrible thing to think, how could you think that? So, I then talked myself out of that thought but I knew, I knew.


00:11:39.20 Andy Coulson:

Your intuition and your instinctive feeling again…


00:11:43.09 Lisa Squire:

Yes, was that she was in that water.


00:11:44.19 Andy Coulson:

How do you reflect on that now?


00:11:50.16 Lisa Squire:

I think I just… it was her telling me. Because why would I…? It was like a thought had come into my head and I just knew it was true. I can’t explain it.


00:12:01.14 Andy Coulson:

You think it was a connection?


00:12:02.23 Lisa Squire:

Oh, most definitely. Most definitely. And I can’t explain it any other way, I just knew. It was just the knowing. But there’s been lots of things when Libby was growing up. There’s been lots of things that have happened that I’ve known what’s happened. We had a particular incident when… because Libby had three suicide attempts when she was very unwell. And there was one afternoon I was sat on the sofa and I said to my husband, ‘I need to go upstairs and see what Libby’s doing.’ And I literally walked in and stopped her doing something. And she said, ‘…how did… I was being really quiet; how did you know?’ And I said, ‘I just knew.’ I just knew I had to go up and find her and see what she was doing.


00:12:45.02 Lisa Squire:

Strange things, I was sat, we were sat watching a film on a Saturday night and I said, ‘Oh my dumb really hurts, I don’t know what I’ve done to my thumb.’ It was absolute agony my thumb and I went on and on and on about it in the evening. And the next day Libby rang and she said, ‘Oh mum I’ve really hurt my thumb.’ And so I said, ‘Hang on say that again…’ and so I put that on loudspeaker and I said, ‘…say it again.’ And she said ‘Somebody sat on my hand and bent my thumb back when we were out last night.’ And my husband said, ‘It’s not your left thumb, is it?’ And she went ‘Yeah it is’. And he said, ‘Didn’t happen about nine o’clock did it?’ And she sent ‘Yeah.’ And he said, ‘Oh my god, your mother felt that as well.’ So little things like that happened a lot to us.


00:13:22.10 Andy Coulson:

Are you a religious family can I ask?


00:13:24.06 Lisa Squire:

Not religious in the slightest, no, I don’t have any religious feelings at all. And nor was she, although she was doing philosophy and religious studies. She was fascinated with religion but we didn’t come from a religious family. But I’m spiritual, very spiritual.


00:13:43.16 Andy Coulson:

Let’s move on. A week later, I think I’m right in saying, and Pawel Relowicz is arrested on suspicion of Libby’s adduction. There’s some CCTV that has put him and Libby, In his car in the vicinity. I think it was CCTV from a shop. What stage was your kind of understanding of what might have happened at this point? Were the police able to share any information with you beyond the purely factual?


00:14:26.08 Lisa Squire:

Yes, we had the most amazing police team working with us. And I say working with us because we worked together. Every single officer that I…


00:14:36.15 Andy Coulson:

That’s the family liaison officer, they do amazing work.


00:14:39.15 Lisa Squire:

Yeah, there’re amazing yeah. Every single person that we came across in the police service was amazing. And our Senior Investigating Officer, Mr Smalley, I think he came on board on the Saturday lunchtime, so and he said to us very early on, ‘I will tell you as much as I can tell you but there will be stuff I can’t tell you, it’s not because I don’t want it’s because it’s for the integrity of the case.’ So I understood from day one that they would tell me what they could. And yeah, we found out quite a lot as soon as any new developments had come up.


00:15:16.16 Andy Coulson:

So your intuition, this clearly, very powerful sense that you have, connection with Libby, when you’re getting this information, at what point did you think to yourself that’s the man?


00:15:31.03 Lisa Squire:

I knew immediately. What happened was, they picked him up on the Wednesday evening, and they showed us some CCTV, which we now know is Libby and him at the car, and as soon as they showed me the CCTV, which was incredibly grainy, it was quite hard to see, I knew that that was her being put in the car. And I know she didn’t get in the car, I know that he put her in the car because I could just tell from the way her head moved and the way her hair flicked. And I just said that’s her, that’s definitely her.


00:16:03.09 Lisa Squire:

And at the time we didn’t know whether it was her or not because he’d only just bene arrested. But the CCTV, they were, some of the media were saying there was a chance it was going be released, so they wanted us to see it before it was released obviously. Yeah, so really they told us everything.


00:16:22.04 Andy Coulson:

So your mind at this stage and presumably Russ as well, is I think that’s him.


00:16:28.19 Lisa Squire:



00:16:29.19 Andy Coulson:

You are, obviously as you say, your conscious mind is running over this thought and allowing you to have hope that it’s not the case but actually you’re thinking I’ve lost my daughter and this man is responsible.


00:16:46.00 Lisa Squire:



00:16:46.06 Andy Coulson:

So I want to ask how, because you then endure forty-eight days, an unimaginable forty-eight days, before Libby is found. How were you coping at that stage, Lisa? How were you managing to function really, when you got those two utterly conflicting thoughts, narratives, running in your head?


00:17:14.11 Lisa Squire:

Do you know, I can honestly say I don’t know where I found the strength to carry on from. Those forty-eight days were horrendous because and exhausting because you’re thinking she’s dead, she’s definitely dead. And then you’re thinking, oh no, you can’t think she’s dead, don’t give up hope, don’t give up hope. So you fight with yourself constantly.


00:17:36.21 Andy Coulson:

And you’re not giving up hope as much for others, as much as you for yourself, presumably?


00:17:40.06 Lisa Squire:

Well, not giving up hope on her as well, and kind of thinking, you can’t just write her off and then feeling like a really bad mum because I’m thinking my child’s dead. Very odd. But we spent the best part of two weeks up in Hull. And the children, two of my best friends had come up and bought the children up, or the younger two, because Beth didn’t want to come up which was completely understandable. So we spent a lot of time… Well we were backwards and forwards with the police, you know, they were checking in on us in the morning and lunchtime and the afternoon, it was amazing. And then, you do feel a bit like a spare part, you know, there’s nothing I can do to make this any better. So very much trying just to entertain the children and just try and get through the day. And I…


00:18:31.15 Andy Coulson:



00:18:31.22 Lisa Squire:

Yeah, doing washing…


00:18:34.03 Andy Coulson:

Were you focused on the practicalities?


00:18:34.20 Lisa Squire:

Yeah, I mean, we had…


00:18:35.01 Andy Coulson:

We head that a lot in the crisis conversations that we had; comfort in the mundane.


00:18:40.05 Lisa Squire:

Yeah, so we went food shopping, my daughter brought her hamster up with her so we had to go and buy bedding for the hamster, cleaning out the hamster. Playing board games with them so they didn’t get bored. My son bought his PlayStation up with him so we were checking in on him wit that. Doing washing, doing ironing, making the beds, just trying to keep busy.


00:19:04.15 Andy Coulson:

Yeah, and that’s not just a diversion is it, it is actually comforting in a way?


00:19:08.22 Lisa Squire:

It is comforting and you have to do it, you have to because if I didn’t do the washing then there wouldn’t be no clothes to wear because we hadn’t taken very many with us.


00:19:16.00 Andy Coulson:

As I understand it you were also, perhaps a little bit further in to the forty-eight days, you were getting the occasional phone call from the police to say we’ve found a body in the Humber.


00:19:30.01 Lisa Squire:

Yeah, go back a bit, when he was arrested and his DNA was put through the database it flagged up with all these other non-contact sexual offences that he had committed. So I kind of had a picture in my mind that he didn’t pick her up and take her out for a picnic, did he? It was fairly obvious because of the situation what could have happened.


00:19:53.14 Lisa Squire:

So the police had looked everywhere for her and there was the river at the end of the flied where she was, or where he’d taken her. And they were really honest with us they said, ‘We have to be practical her that we cannot find her anywhere, we think there’s a very strong possibility that she’d gone in the river.’ So I had a phone call about four weeks into it and Sam said ‘There’s been a body spotted in the Humber.’ And I was like, ‘Oh okay…’, and I just felt sick, really sick. And a couple of hours later she phoned back and she said, ’It’s male, it’s not her, it’s a boy.’ And I was like, ‘…oh okay fine’.


00:20:39.02 Andy Coulson:

And this is understandable from the police’s perspective because they have to let you know that there’s…


00:20:41.00 Lisa Squire:

Yeah, because they have to let us know. And because there was so much media interest as well…


00:20:45.24 Andy Coulson:

Exactly, they’re terrified that you’re going to something somewhere.


00:20:48.04 Lisa Squire:

Yes, so we always knew everything before the media got hold of it, which was no mean feat on the police’s part, I’m sure. Then I had a second phone call about a week later to say there’s been a female body washed up on a beach in the area. So again, that was horrendous. So I then had that phone call to say it’s not Libby.


00:21:13.09 Lisa Squire:

And then I thought, hang on a minute. So we’ve had two phone calls, one it’s a boy, two it’s female, the second one was a female and I thought, okay so Libby’s… and again I put it from Libby’s perspective, she’s showing, this is what it feels like mum. This is what it feels like when you get the phone call to say… but it’s not me.


00:21:34.01 Andy Coulson:

You think she was preparing you for it?


00:21:36.15 Lisa Squire:

Yes, this is what you’ll get a phone call to say, this is a female but it’s not me. So when you get the next phone call it will be easier because you’ve had those phone calls before. And it was, much easier when I actually had the phone call.


00:21:51.08 Andy Coulson:

We should explain as well, that Libby’s body was put into the River Hull, the River Hull feeds the River Humber estuary, which is a huge body of water.


00:22:01.08 Lisa Squire:

Huge expanse of water, yeah. I’d never realised how big it was until…


00:22:06.17 Andy Coulson:

Yes, and the chances of finding, frankly, a body that had been fed into the estuary, to say they’re slim is an understatement.


00:22:17.00 Lisa Squire:

Yeah, yeah.


00:22:18.14 Andy Coulson:

And so the police, I’m sure, have explained this to you.


00:22:20.20 Lisa Squire:



00:22:21.23 Andy Coulson:

So, when you do get that phone call, if you can, you’ve got all those thoughts in your mind, tell us how you reacted, having had those calls in advance.


00:22:34.17 Lisa Squire:

Well I’d had a really strange experience on the Monday. My neighbour was with me and I was crying and I was really, really crying on that day. And I said to her, ‘Oh…’, and my tears were really salty, to the point that it was dripping in my mouth and I was like ‘…ugh’. And she said to me ‘Are you alright?’ And I said, ‘…my tears are really salty’. And then on the Wednesday Libby was found. So I’m kind of thinking, my spiritual side said that was another sign. There probably is some medical explanation but I like to say it’s a sign.


00:23:07.11 Lisa Squire:

So, I was on the school run, picking up Joe and his friend, and I had a phone call from Sam, who is our FLO, to say there’s a female body been spotted in the Humber. And I said, ‘Oh, do you think it’s Libby?’ And she said, ‘Well there aren’t any other females missing.’ And I said, ‘…oh okay, fine’. So I took Joe’s friend back to his house and we called Libby’s boyfriend and said, ‘Look, I think she’s been found in the Humber.’ So he said, ‘Right, I’m coming home now.’  Then I went home and told Russell that there’s been a body found and they think it’s Libby. And we had, I think she phoned me at twenty past three and it was about half past four they phoned to confirm it was her.


00:23:52.07 Lisa Squire:

And you always, you know, you see on TV programmes and films, you know, people collapse and screaming and I didn’t. I thought I would be that person that would be in a heap on the floor and not moving. But I actually just remember it was like everything just disappeared. It was like I was on my own in the room and I couldn’t really focus on anything or anybody. So I handed the phone to Russell and he took the rest of the information. And then I said to her, ‘Does that mean they’ve found her?’ And he said ‘…yes they’ve found her’, and I said, ‘…and is she dead?’ And he said, ‘Yes, she’s dead.’


00:24:25.19 Lisa Squire:

And then I don’t really remember an awful lot about the next hour or so but all of a sudden there was people in the house. My mum and dad, my best friend. Obviously I’d told the children. Beth was going to a friend’s house anyway so I said ‘You don’t have to come home if you don’t want to, but this is what’s happened.’ And she was seventeen, she was completely lost. And obviously at that age they… I said ‘You do what’s right for you and if you want to stay away from home that’s fine.’ There was just people everywhere coming in. His parents turned up, my best friend and her husband and it was really the start of the nightmare really, I suppose. The reality.


00:25:07.01 Andy Coulson:

So these two feelings that you’ve had, that you’ve been living with for a fair period of time here, this conflicting kind of narratives in your head, they’ve now merged into one factual narrative?


00:25:23.00 Lisa Squire:



00:25:23.23 Andy Coulson:

With that finality.


00:25:25.07 Lisa Squire:



00:25:26.13 Andy Coulson:

How did you, having always really felt it, was that then helpful, if that’s the right word to use, in terms of getting to the next day really?


00:25:38.19 Lisa Squire:

Yes, it was really, because I had an answer. Because the worst thing is not knowing and I’d always known but now I had it confirmed. I was, I was going to say please, that’s not the right word. I was happy that she’d come home, we’d found her. And I had an answer. But obviously…


00:26:02.21 Andy Coulson:

You said that you thought she did an amazing job.


00:26:05.16 Lisa Squire:

Oh, she did an amazing job of coming back.


00:26:06.18 Andy Coulson:

In getting home to you.


00:26:07.18 Lisa Squire:

Yes because like you said, they said that she would, if she was going to come home, that it would be six to eight weeks after she’d been put in the river. But I don’t think… I even, at the time I thought, I don’t think they think she’s ever going to come back. And I think like you said, the possibility of coming back was really slim.


00:26:27.08 Lisa Squire:

And the day that she was found, or the week before, the seas had been really, really choppy and really, really awful. And the day she was found the seas were completely calm, there was a passing fishing trawler. She was just laying on the surface of the water. And for the whole time that the fisherman called into the coastguard she didn’t move. And the RNLI had just finished a training course, a training session, they literally got on their recovery boat, went out, got her and took her back. And it was from the sounds of things it was a really smooth exercise.


00:27:05.18 Lisa Squire:

And I thought, no, I knew you’d come back, I knew she’d come back to me. And I said apparently, I don’t remember saying it but Sam has said to me you’ve said at the very beginning, Libby will come back to me and tell me where she had to die. And I knew that she’d come back and I was really pleased that she’d come home. And that she’d come back to me.


00:27:26.09 Andy Coulson:

Lisa, I think I’m right in say that you decided that you wanted to see Libby, despite being advised not to.


00:27:31.24 Lisa Squire:

Oh yeah, yes. There was never any doubt in my mind that I needed to be with her. Because I hadn’t seen her for forty-eight days and it was horrible not being able to see her. So, she was found on the Wednesday and she had her first post-mortem on the Thursday and then I believe she had another post-mortem on the Friday. And I wanted to go to the post-mortem and Sam said there’s no way you can go to a post mortem.


00:27:58.10 Andy Coulson:

You wanted to go to the post-mortem?


00:27:58.24 Lisa Squire:

Yes I did, I wanted to be there with her. Because that’s my child and my favourite phrase with my children, I drive them mad, I go, ‘I grew that, I grew your skin, I grew your eyes, I grew your arms. I grew that.’


00:28:09.05 Andy Coulson:

It’s this connection thing again.


00:28:10.11 Lisa Squire:

Yes, yes and I wanted to bet here so I could hold her hand and tell her it was okay. And they wouldn’t let me, understandably now, but at the time I was enraged that I couldn’t be there.


00:28:21.10 Andy Coulson:

Were you really?


00:28:21.22 Lisa Squire:

Yeah, I was like know dare somebody else do that to my child and I can’t be there? Although my sensible side was saying yeah, you know, it’s probably not the best thing to do. And then when I found out that…


00:28:34.13 Andy Coulson:

And you’re a nurse, you have been around…


00:28:37.03 Lisa Squire:

Nursery nurse, I’ve been around all that.


00:28:38.10 Andy Coulson:

…medical environment professionally.


00:28:39.17 Lisa Squire:

Yeah, so it’s not scary to me, it’s not scary to me. And then I found out that obviously the defence side have to have a post-mortem as well. So, that was a second person rummaging around inside my child and I still couldn’t go and see her, I was livid, I was really angry. So, we went up to Hull on the Friday, I think, back up to obviously to see her. And they said we could only see her under a blanket or under a shroud sort of thing.


00:29:11.22 Lisa Squire:

And I went in, we went into this room, and they’d emptied about forty-five cans of air freshener into the room, because obviously dead bodies smell. And she was just laying there, and I always say it was like it could have been a sale at DFS because it looks like, it was just this lumpy covered, velvet covered thing. And I didn’t know what end was her head, what end was her body, and very odd… and I came out and Sam said, was that alright? And I said, well it was a start but now I need to see her.


00:29:38.18 Lisa Squire:

And that started forty-eight hours of intense negotiation and the police were amazing because they said to me, ‘The coroner has decided you can’t see her.’ And I said, ‘Well I need to speak to the coroner and say no, that’s not happening.’ And she said, ‘…the coroner is above the police’. And I didn’t know that. And what the coroner says goes. And I said, ‘…well I need to tell him that that’s not going to happen’. And I was so determined. So, then it came back with ‘…oh you can see her behind…’


00:30:07.21 Andy Coulson:

And you’re driving thought here, this is my daughter.


00:30:09.23 Lisa Squire:

This is my daughter, don’t tell me what I can and can’t do. And they said, ‘Oh well you can see her through a window, through a glass’ and I’m like, ‘No, I need to be in the same space as her.’ ‘Okay, well you can see her with just her face.’ ‘No, I need to see all of her, I want to be with my child.’ And it wasn’t about seeing her, it was about being with her.


00:30:31.04 Lisa Squire:

So, I think it was the day of the inquest, it was opened and adjourned and then I went to see the coroner and I just went in and he said, ‘I understand you want to see your daughter?’ And I said, ‘Yes, I do.’ And he said, ‘Well I would advise against it.’ And I just said, ‘Well thank you very much but I want to see my daughter.’ So, and he agreed, he did agree. And I did see her. But again, I think, you know, my point was that thirty years ago if you had a still birth or your baby died we used to whisk your baby away and not show you your baby.


00:31:01.03 Andy Coulson:



00:31:02.05 Lisa Squire:

Now we encourage women to take their babies home, you can do all sorts of things now and it just hasn’t filtered down to dead people, dead adults, dead older children.


00:31:13.12 Andy Coulson:

If the circumstances…


00:31:15.12 Lisa Squire:

Yes, and if a parent wants to do it and a parent is… I mean, my husband did not want to do it at all, he was happy to see her just under a sheet. He just didn’t have that feeling, which is absolutely fine, but if a parent wants to a parent should be able to. And obviously I now know lots of parents who’ve lost children and it’s one of the biggest regrets a lot of them have, is that they haven’t seen their child.


00:31:37.21 Andy Coulson:

That they didn’t, right, right. So, you reflect on that and say it absolutely helped you?


00:31:42.12 Lisa Squire:

It was right for me and helped me. Because Libby was a prolific self-harmer, so she had scars, lots of scars, and I know that the pathologist was one of the best in the country that did her post-mortem. But I kept thinking what if he thinks one of those scars is… it could be a stab wound, I need to check. And I had a thing in my head that if she was scared when she died that her face would still be scared, and she wasn’t at all. She was beautiful, I mean, didn’t look at all like Libby, but I knew it was her. And it was really healing for me because I was able to say to her, well done, thank you for coming back to me.


00:32:26.06 Andy Coulson:

So, at this stage Lisa, you don’t know how Libby died with any degree of certainty?


00:32:32.08 Lisa Squire:



00:32:32.18 Andy Coulson:

The police believe she was abducted, obviously, and very likely murdered and they’re working very hard at trying to tie Relowicz, who had now been linked to these other lesser offences. For most people who endure grief there’s usually a clarity that comes with death, if I can put it that way. Not always, of course, but if the loss is through illness or an accident you at least have the facts to be able to understand what happened. You didn’t have that.


00:33:11.17 Lisa Squire:



00:33:12.03 Andy Coulson:

And you didn’t have that for quite some time. So, you have this sort of unimaginable grief that sort of finality of that, but you’ve also got this void, you don’t know why or how.


00:33:24.07 Lisa Squire:

Yeah, and we still don’t know how she died. Still don’t know and it’s one of those questions that eats me up. How did she die, how did she die? How did she die? And I have to accept that I probably will never know. But we didn’t know anything when she was first found because she’d been in the water.


00:33:47.01 Lisa Squire:

When she had her post-mortem, we knew that there was no blunt force trauma, that she hadn’t died from that, but they had to send her brain and hyaloid bone and her larynx off to be, I think it’s called plasticised or something, because it was obviously very soft because of the water. And they were hoping that they might be able to find something there, but nothing came back with that.


00:34:09.19 Lisa Squire:

And there were tests after tests after tests. And I remember it going right through to June because they said you should have the tests by the end of June and they were all inconclusive, they couldn’t say. And it was just like, we’re going to find out tomorrow, we’re going to find out tomorrow and you never did.


00:34:23.21 Andy Coulson:

Let’s take a step back just for a second. The police managed to collate sufficient evidence to convict Pawel of these offences. He’s referred to everywhere as Pawel, by his first name. Is that…


00:34:38.19 Lisa Squire:

Doesn’t bother me actually, I don’t… it doesn’t bother me.


00:34:44.07 Andy Coulson:

So within a couple of months he’s convicted of these lesser offences. And this goes to the sort of heart of the campaigning piece now. The police in your view, behave brilliantly, yes?


00:34:58.19 Lisa Squire:

Yes, absolutely.


00:35:01.00 Andy Coulson:

But the dots weren’t connected amongst those offences, were they, locally?


00:35:04.20 Lisa Squire:



00:35:06.03 Andy Coulson:

Because there had been quite a number of them, all of a non-contact. They were him peering into windows, this phrase ‘Peeping Tom’ which I think is, I suspect you have very strong views about.


00:35:17.04 Lisa Squire:

Yes. Very strong views.


00:35:19.10 Andy Coulson:

And other pretty offensive but non-physical crimes. When you look back at that now, what should have happened at that stage?


00:35:34.04 Lisa Squire:

I don’t think the police could have caught him from that. Because he didn’t have a regular offending pattern. It wasn’t like he’d committed voyeurism on this night, this night, this night. He did different things. So, one was voyeurism, then he’d do a household burglary and then there was…


00:35:53.22 Andy Coulson:

They weren’t obviously linked.


00:35:54.15 Lisa Squire:

They weren’t obviously. And quite a few of them weren’t reported until after Libby had died. Which is why I say to people now just let them know. And if you go to a police officer and you say this has happened and that police officer doesn’t take you seriously, find another police officer.


00:36:09.16 Lisa Squire:

Because, I mean, I have a huge circle of friends and I think, I mean, we’re all in our forties and fifties and each and every one of us have been a victim of a non-contact sexual offence growing up. And it’s not okay, it is not okay. So, and I think people have to be you can’t be under the illusion that the police are going to go out and catch that person, they’re not going to. But if they’ve got the information, they’re got the data then.


00:36:36.18 Lisa Squire:

And when I was speaking to the police about this they said, you know, if we have, say, five non-contact sexual offences in an area and that’s normal for that area in a month, if all of a sudden we’ve got nine or twelve or fifteen, then we’re going to put personnel out there. But the police don’t have the personnel to do it.


00:36:54.06 Andy Coulson:

Or it might merit, if it’s a university environment, you’re going to warn people.


00:36:57.22 Lisa Squire:

Absolutely, but if you don’t know then no one can do anything about it.


00:37:02.12 Andy Coulson:

Yes, so the reporting is so important.


00:37:04.01 Lisa Squire:

Reporting is massive.


00:37:04.14 Andy Coulson:

We’ll talk about that a little bit more a little bit later. So in the August, Pawel pleads guilty to a number of these non-contact offences, committed actually since 2017, so over quite a long period of time. When that happened that presumably hardened your view that he was the man responsible?


00:37:23.24 Lisa Squire:



00:37:24.06 Andy Coulson:

Or were you already… it’s him.


00:37:25.15 Lisa Squire:

Oh I knew, I’d already thought this…


00:37:27.07 Andy Coulson:

And there wasn’t another voice in your head saying, well maybe it’s not?


00:37:29.17 Lisa Squire:

No, no because nobody else had come forwards, there were no other leads. We saw him put her in his car and then the police had already told us that two hours, that they knew that he’d gone to the Hope Road playing field. And then I did at one point, because we didn’t know what had happened, when we found out that he was a serial sex offender anyway, I did think oh well that’s obviously… it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work it out, does it? And I thought she might have died fighting him off.


00:38:01.19 Lisa Squire:

And then we knew that, that the only explanation was that she’d gone in the river and so I thought okay, fine, then did she…? And then we had the whole well maybe she threw herself in the river and I’m like, no, she wouldn’t do that, she wouldn’t do that, she would never leave me not knowing what happened. And because she’d had, I mean, I remember Sam saying ‘…we’ve got Libby’s diary’, this is in the very early days of her missing. And I went ‘…oh my goodness’, I said, ‘…yeah so you think she’s taken her own life?’ And she said, ‘…well…’ and I said, ‘…yeah…’ because in her diary it’s like, you know, I hate the world, I’m going to kill myself and then the next page is oh I saw a lovely little lamb today, it was all pink and fluffy… so I said, ‘…that’s her, she writes all her darkest things down..


00:38:45.16 Andy Coulson:

Presumably been encouraged to do so, right?


00:38:47.12 Lisa Squire:

Yeah, write it down. So I said, ‘No she would never have taken her own life because I know how she would have done it. And she wouldn’t have done it this way’ and she wouldn’t have thrown herself in a river, it’s just not the thing she would have done.


00:38:59.11 Andy Coulson:

So, Lisa, then another miracle, wrapped in a nightmare, happens. DNA evidence is discovered from Libby’s body that appears to prove that Relovicz raped her before he killed her. A miracle of science, given the length of time that she was in the water. I think the pathologist were amazed that this evidence still existed, but obviously an obviously total unimaginable confirmation of the ultimate nightmare for you.


00:39:38.22 Lisa Squire:

Yeah, but I was… Yeah, it was hard, it was hard hearing it. But I had… I mean it was incredible actually in the house obviously there’s five of us in our house, and there were five different reactions to that news. I was very sad that that had happened to her but my overwhelming feeling was I was so proud of her, so proud. Because she’d held onto that DNA evidence and I think I’m right in saying that she’s the only person in the world that’s managed to do that, there’s been no other reported cases of that length of time.


00:40:13.24 Andy Coulson:

Of that length of time in those circumstances?


00:40:16.23 Lisa Squire:

Yeah, and I just thought, oh you’re so clever, you’re so clever. And she had paid the ultimate price but she had got an incredibly dangerous man off the streets. And because of her women are safer. And I just remember sitting there thinking, I mean, I was literally bursting with pride but really upset at the same time, it was the strangest feeling. But I’m now still so incredibly proud of what she’s done.


00:40:45.09 Andy Coulson:

This question, I ask with some hesitation, is the pride, was the pride, is still the pride, the means by which you are able to cope with the appalling grief?


00:41:06.06 Lisa Squire:

Yes probably.


00:41:06.18 Andy Coulson:

And I say that thinking how remarkable.


00:41:11.03 Lisa Squire:

Yes probably, I mean I’m equally as proud of all of my children, they’ve all done amazing things. But I feel even in Libby’s death, which was completely senseless, I mean, she should not have died, he should not have killed her. But she’s done something really good in that. You know, people say to me, why her? And why not her? You know, why should it be anybody? But she’s done something to…


00:41:36.22 Andy Coulson:

Really? You’ve never had the kind of… for people who go through crisis themselves there’s the kind of why me, right? But why her would be an entirely natural response but you…


00:41:50.03 Lisa Squire:

No, I just think, well why not her? I mean, why should it be anybody? It shouldn’t have been anybody. And I know for a fact that if she had seen another woman being attacked that she would have gone in and tried to help out. And she would be saying, well why not me? You know, don’t feel sorry for me mum, don’t… she would have just been…


00:42:12.21 Andy Coulson:

She was remarkable, Lisa. I mean, we talk a lot on this podcast about the importance and the value of perspective in crisis and you’re explaining to us here, really, how you were finding, somehow you were finding a perspective in all this. It’s remarkable.


00:42:34.09 Lisa Squire:

I think I have to, I’m not putting a happy spin on it at all, because it certainly isn’t but you have choices, and I could have chosen to sit there and think oh my goodness, my poor little girl, my this, that, but that’s not who I am, that’s not who she was. So I have to honour what she would have done and it comes naturally for me to be more positive anyway.


00:42:57.19 Andy Coulson:

So you’re, and this goes back to what you explained in terms of wanting to see Libby, the key thing for you is, I’m not going to let this crisis, it’s much more than a crisis, I’m not going to let this tragedy change her and I’m not going to let it change me. And I’m not going to let it change our relationship.


00:43:16.19 Lisa Squire:

No, no, no, no. That was it, yeah. She’s still my daughter, I’m still her mother, you know, we still have a really close relationship. I talk about her quite often in the present tense, which I know people think is a bit weird sometimes, but I do. I talk to her every day. I still buy her birthday presents, Christmas presents, we still have a relationship her and I. It’s different but we still have a relationship. And I have to set an example for my other children. You know, I still have to be present as a mother for my other three children. And she was worth more than him, so I will not let him take any more of us, because then he’s won and he won’t win.


00:43:58.23 Andy Coulson:

Lisa, you’re finally able to bring Libby home to Wycombe. Some degree of closure but the grieving process that would normally follow a funeral, of course, can’t happen because you’re waiting to see if Relovicz will be charged. And then once that happens, of course, he pleads not guilty.


00:44:19.18 Lisa Squire:



00:44:20.00 Andy Coulson:

Putting you all through the new nightmare of a trial. This is just layer after layer of crisis for you and the family. Again, can I just ask, what are you saying to yourself? You’ve explained your attitude so eloquently that explains a lot of your actions. But can I just ask again, you’ve gone through so much over a very long period of time already, how are you now embarking on the nightmare of a trial? In practical terms, what were you doing day to day, to make sure that you as a family could get through that and that you as an individual could get though that?


00:45:03.06 Lisa Squire:

I wanted a trial. I didn’t want him to plead guilty, I wanted a trial because I needed to find out what happened. And for me it was never about punishment it was about finding out what had happened to her. I couldn’t have given two hoots what happened to him. You know, I’m a great believer in the British justice system. And it’s easy for me to say now because he was found guilty but I remember saying to Russell, ‘If he gets found not guilty then he’s not guilty. ‘


00:45:28.14 Andy Coulson:

Were you curious about him, about his story? About his background?


00:45:31.11 Lisa Squire:

I am a bit, yeah. I still don’t know very much about his background but yeah, something must have happened to him to make him the person he is because normal people don’t do what he was doing. I mean, put Libby to one side, the other things he was doing, normal men don’t do that. So yes, I really wanted a trial, I wanted to go and I wanted to see him and I wanted to hear his voice and I wanted to find out what his excuses were. But moreover I wanted to find out what had happened to her that night. And I knew it would all be laid out for me and you’re in a space that’s all about that night. So, it was a fact finding mission if you like, which is a horrible way to describe it, but it is.


00:46:11.10 Andy Coulson:

That gave you some comfort?


00:46:12.15 Lisa Squire:

It did, it really did. And practically I just organised. I mean, I’d been back at work by that point, because I had a year off, and I’d been back to work and then I had six months off after the trial. But I could have had six months off for the trial. So I had to organise the children, Beth by this point was eighteen, nineteen, so she stayed at home with the younger two so they could go to school. Because they have to have a normal life.


00:46:43.06 Andy Coulson:

The attitude that you had Lisa, can I ask, about keeping Libby present in your life, as though she were still alive, is that one that you did as a family? Do you all see it that way?


00:46:56.04 Lisa Squire:

No. If I’m honest no. I’ve said earlier, there are five of us in our house, and we do five different things. I talk about her all the time, I’ve obviously campaigning for things that happened to her. I watch every documentary that’s about her, I look at her photos every day, I listen to her voice every day. I’m very doing that…


00:47:20.12 Lisa Squire:

My husband finds that incredibly difficult to do. He does talk about her but it’s sort of, it’s fleeting because he’s just broken and it’s really hard for him. The children do talk about her on their terms, when they want to. And I have a standing joke in our house, if I want a bit of peace and quiet I can start talking about Libby and I can clear the room. It’s quite, you know… because they’re not… she was a massive part, or is a massive part of their lives but they’re teenagers, they don’t want to sit and talk about something negative all the time.


00:47:56.23 Andy Coulson:

They’ve got to be able to live their life. So have you found a way for you all to grieve in the way that you want to grieve?


00:48:03.10 Lisa Squire:

Yeah, and you know, I say to them, ‘You don’t have to do it the way I do it, I don’t have to do it the way you do it.’ I mean, we’ve had arguments about it because you know I maybe haven’t felt supported occasionally but I’ll say. And it changes for a few days and then goes back to normal.


00:48:16.07 Andy Coulson:

Are you a believer in counselling?


00:48:18.03 Lisa Squire:

Yes, oh I had lots and lots and lots of therapy.


00:48:20.11 Andy Coulson:

And found it incredibly helpful?


00:48:21.21 Lisa Squire:

Amazing, yeah. I mean, I had trauma therapy, we had grief therapy as a family, as a couple, on my own. And I talk a lot, and friends therapy is the best therapy ever. It is the best therapy ever. And last night I had three of my girlfriends round who have also lost children. So Russell cooked for us and we had lots of wine…


00:48:44.21 Andy Coulson:

Sorry, are these friends that you have connected with as a result…?


00:48:47.11 Lisa Squire:

Ah yes, I go to a group called Compassionate Friends and so there it’s local to where I live and it’s a global organisation, and I’ve met three people who… well I’ve met lots of people but we’re really good friends the four of us and actually even that, I think Libby put me in touch there because one of my dear friends Laura, her son took his own life six weeks before Libby. We subsequently found out that Libby and James had a mutual friend called Rachel and Libby and James would have been at the same party. So Laura’s son would have known my daughter and now Laura and I are really good friends. And so I think, okay, Libby had a hand in that. But yeah, talking to them because we, over dinner, can sit there and talk about what our children looked like in their coffins. Which, it’s bizarre if anyone was to listen in but you have to talk about these things or else it eats away at you.


00:49:40.04 Andy Coulson:

That is the lesson here, you would say? Got to get it…


00:49:42.19 Lisa Squire:

Yeah most definitely you’ve got to get it out. And normalise it because that is our lives, our lives, our normal lives are being parents without children. It’s normal for us. And to be with people who know how it really feels is so important.


00:49:59.21 Andy Coulson:

Lisa, let’s just talk about the moment when the verdict comes in because you might, outside looking in, see that as some kind of full stop, a moment of relief, possibly comfort, I don’t know. Is that what you felt?


00:50:17.18 Lisa Squire:

I was very happy that he had been sentenced to life with the minimum of twenty-seven years, I was pleased with that. And I was incredibly pleased that he’d been found unanimously guilty of rape because he had to pay for what he’d done. So yeah, I was pleased and it was a bit of a relief that we didn’t have to do it all over again I suppose and that finally she could just… because Libby was an intensely private person, and obviously all of her death, it’s been, everybody knows about it. So I could go back to having her for me and the family. And that was really important.


00:50:55.18 Andy Coulson:

You made the decision, I think I’m right in saying, that you didn’t want a headstone and that’s part of the reason why?


00:51:00.05 Lisa Squire:

Yes, yeah, she’s on her bed. After the funeral I went to, I was driving past the funeral directors and I thought, oh if there’s a space outside I’ll go and pick her ashes up, but if there’s not I’ll do it tomorrow and there was a space outside the funeral directors. So I popped in and picked her up and they’d put her in a gift bag, it’s really strange. She’s in a box in a gift bag and they handed her to me.


00:51:21.10 Lisa Squire:

So I bought her home and kind of wandered round the house with this gift bag with my daughter’s ashes in it. And I hid her under the bed. Don’t ask me why. So when Russell came home I said, ‘Oh Libby’s home’ and he said, ‘…where is she?’ I said, ‘I’ve put her under our bed.’ And he said, ‘Ridiculous.’ So he put her on her bed which is where she always was in life and that’s where she still is now, she’s on her bed.


00:51:40.11 Lisa Squire:

So I go into her room every day and open her curtains and chat to her. And I decorated the bag, put little bits on the bag for her and yeah, Russell would really like a grave or a headstone but I don’t want one because I don’t want people walking past saying ‘oh that was the girl that was raped and murdered’. You know, she needs…


00:51:58.23 Andy Coulson:

What, and you’re doing that on your own behalf or on her behalf?


00:52:01.00 Lisa Squire:

For her. Yeah, for her, she wouldn’t want that.


00:52:04.11 Andy Coulson:

Do you think you will come to a different conclusion when more time has gone by?


00:52:10.01 Lisa Squire:

No, no. I’ve said to the kids, when I die, mix me and Libby, mix our ashes together, put us in the wheelie bin if you want, I don’t care with us because I want my ashes to be with hers. And then you can do whatever. And also there’s a big part of me that doesn’t want her to be on her own in a grave. If maybe, whichever one of us, Russell or I dies first if we were… I might think differently if Russell was to go first that maybe they could go in together. I don’t want her to be on her own. At the moment she’s at home and she’s comfortable, I was going to say, yeah, she is comfortable. She’s got all her surroundings…


00:52:44.08 Andy Coulson:

Can I ask, you know, in the same way that you confronted the coroner, I suspect that there’s been a fair bit of resistance to your approach.


00:52:53.01 Lisa Squire:

Yeah. There has been.


00:52:55.19 Andy Coulson:

In this regard?


00:52:57.08 Lisa Squire:

Yeah. There has been and I just really…


00:52:59.15 Andy Coulson:

And your view is I don’t care what you think…


00:53:01.17 Lisa Squire:

Yeah, I don’t care.


00:53:03.07 Andy Coulson:

…I know what I think.


00:53:04.14 Lisa Squire:

Yeah, my parents would say, ‘…we’d really like a headstone’. I’d say ‘…well when you die you can have one.’ I just I remember my dad saying ‘…it would be really nice for her to go somewhere, to go and chat with her’. I’d say, ‘…she’s in her bedroom, come and talk to her in there’. But I have said to everybody… And actually, maybe I’m selfish, I don’t know, and Russell is such an amazing man, I mean incredibly amazing, he is happy for me to do whatever I need to do.


00:53:32.05 Andy Coulson:

He’s given you the permission to do what you need to do and that’s…


00:53:36.04 Lisa Squire:

And yeah, maybe I’m a bit selfish by doing what I want to do but she was my child and…


00:53:43.09 Andy Coulson:

There are some people, I’m sure, who would say that that’s not how you move through grief. And that what you’re doing is understandably holding onto something.


00:54:00.22 Lisa Squire:

Oh, I’m definitely holding on to her.


00:54:02.01 Andy Coulson:

But your view is, yeah I am.


00:54:04.17 Lisa Squire:

Yeah, I’m definitely holding onto her.


00:54:05.01 Andy Coulson:

And that’s exactly what I want to do.


00:54:08.04 Lisa Squire:

Exactly what I want to do and there is no way that I will let go of her until I die.


00:54:14.22 Andy Coulson:

Lisa, because you are the woman you are, you quite quickly focus on the campaign. Which, obviously, is an incredible, positive and a way to secure a legacy for Libby I think though the campaign will be Libby’s Legacy, the name of it eventually. That presumably was the motivation, is that I don’t want this to happen to anyone else if I can possibly avoid it, but I want people to remember Libby.


00:54:53.13 Lisa Squire:

Yes, absolutely. I knew from the day that we found out that she was dead that I wanted to do something. And I had so many ideas in my head of what can I do, where… Do I go down the rape crisis angle and the fact that she’d held onto the DNA for all that time? Do I go down the missing bit? There were so many things could have gone down and then it just became really clear that the non-contact sexual offences, you can, if they are reported, you can stop the next level.


00:55:28.06 Andy Coulson:



00:55:29.12 Lisa Squire:

Escalation, that’s what I… and it’s quite a simple thing, just saying to women, if this happens to you report it.


00:55:36.07 Andy Coulson:

You met Boris Johnson when he was prime minister, we’ve had a number since, in March this year. What did you say to him?


00:55:46.24 Lisa Squire:

He was actually really nice and I went in and obviously told him, he asked me what had happened. He was horrified that she was missing for forty-eight days. He was like ‘…forty-eight days?’ I went, ‘…yeah, absolutely’. And you know I said to him, because my aim was to have, at the time it was rapist, murderers should stay in prison for the rest of their lives. And he just said to me, ‘…well we don’t have enough prisons’. Well build more.


00:56:14.24 Lisa Squire:

Prison should be for the worst crimes. And murder is the worst crime. And if you take a life you should then forfeit your life, the rest of your life. And Relovicz had choices that night. You know, when he put her in the car and drove her there he could have thought, oh what the hell am I doing? Let her go. When he chased her into the park he could have thought, what am I doing? And walked away. When he raped her, he could have thought oh my god, what am I doing? And walked away. But when he killed her, he could have thought, oh my god, what have I done? He could have left her there but no; he chose to throw her in the river. So, if he hadn’t had thrown her in the river we wouldn’t have had that forty-eight days of absolute hell. So, he had choices to make.


00:56:56.11 Andy Coulson:

So, Lisa, for people listening to this, what can they do? I mean, there’s that simple message, not simple, very important message that report it, first and foremost.


00:57:04.13 Lisa Squire:

Report, report, report.


00:57:06.01 Andy Coulson:

And what else is it that you want to happen?


00:57:08.08 Lisa Squire:

The other thing I’m doing, we’re doing now is hoping to go, go into school sixth forms and talk to the children, the young people, about when they go out, go out, have a great time, drink loads, whatever, but do it safely. Never leave your friends. Now, I do not blame the girls who were with Libby that night.


00:57:27.16 Andy Coulson:

Well, they put her in a taxi.


00:57:30.02 Lisa Squire:

Which they thought was a sensible thing to do, which was a sensible thing to do. But without question, if they had gone home with her that night, she may still have died by falling down the stairs and breaking her neck, who knows, but she wouldn’t have died in the way she died. So, if your friend can’t get into a nightclub there’ll be another day. And if your friend’s drinking is too much for them then you need to have an honest and adult conversation to say you’re ruining our nights out. So don’t leave your friends. We know that girls are more at risk of sexual harm, boys are more at risk of accidents when they’re on their own. So actually, let’s not do it, just go home with them.


00:58:02.24 Andy Coulson:

Lisa, is there also, for you, because after Libby got out of the taxi, she was wandering close to the house for a while and people saw her.


00:58:13.03 Lisa Squire:

Yeah, eighteen people saw her.


00:58:14.14 Andy Coulson:

So, this is not about blame, [No, no no] but is there also something in our attitudes, as well as legislation and awareness, is there also something her about attitudes? That if you see a young person who is clearly, I imagine, evidently disorientated, let’s use that word, people felt that they couldn’t do something, couldn’t intervene? Felt that they couldn’t have a conversation, felt that they couldn’t call the police? And again, this is not about blame because who knows what the specific circumstances were and what the exchange was etc. etc. but is there also something here for you on attitude?


00:58:55.09 Lisa Squire:

Yeah, and I say to the young people that I talk to, if you see somebody, like Libby, and you feel it in your gut, that’s your sixth sense, if your sixth sense is saying to you, oh that doesn’t seem right, pick the phone up and call the police, call an ambulance. Because if someone had done that, she would have been mortified the next morning if she’d been in a police cell overnight but she’d have been alive. And I get lots of boys saying, ‘,,,well if I saw a girl in that situation, as a man, what do I do?’ Because they’re scared. So, I think it’s just about being honest and kind, be kind.




00:59:33.10 Andy Coulson:

Lisa, last month there was a moment when it looked likely that you would meet Relovicz, he agreed to see you and then withdrew, we think presumably that’s linked to an appeal or whatever his legal process is going to be. Why did you want to meet him?


00:59:51.15 Lisa Squire:

I want to meet him because he was the last person with my daughter. So, I would be very naive if I thought I could go in and say, how did you kill her, because he’s never going to tell me that. But what he can tell me is, I want to know questions like, when she got in the car, she was… because she was suffering from hypothermia as well as, which is why she appeared to be so drunk, the pathologist thought it was hypothermia as well. But when she got in the car was she evidently getting warmer, was she tired, was she sleeping, was she talking? Was she crying?


01:00:27.14 Lisa Squire:

There’s all these little questions that come up and there’s different questions every day. And it’s about putting those last few minutes of her life back together for me. He’ll never tell me how he killed her; I know that. But if I could find out some of the… I’d like to know whereabouts did he throw her in the river, at what point did he put her in the river? And then you get really darker questions like, did you put her in headfirst or feet first, did you roll her in the river? Did you kick her in the river? Did you use your feet to put her in? Did you…?


01:01:02.02 Andy Coulson:

Do you want to know every detail?


01:01:04.19 Lisa Squire:

I want to know all of that, yeah, I do. Because not knowing your mind fills in the blanks and sometimes they’re a whole lot worse than the truth.


01:01:15.06 Andy Coulson:

So, you clearly feel that the fine detail of this will provide comfort because it closes a sort of door that you’re currently filling with speculation?


01:01:29.22 Lisa Squire:

Yes, yeah. And it’s important for her as well. You know, because I can say to her, and to my other children, I tried as hard as I could to get all the information that there is to get. And when he said no, well he said yes originally then it was yes, but I don’t want to talk about what happened that night. So why he thinks I’d want to go and see him, who knows? And then it was yes, I’ll see you, I don’t want to talk about that night, what happened that night, and I want to know what questions you’re going to ask me.


01:02:01:21 Lisa Squire:

And I played along with it all and the questions I was going to give him were not the ones I was going to ask when I was there, obviously. And then he said no, he wouldn’t see me. And it hit me harder than I thought it would. It really set me back because I felt like I’d let her down again.


01:02:21.08 Andy Coulson:

When you say set you back how did that manifest itself?


01:02:23.08 Lisa Squire:

It felt like I was in that first stage of grief again, that first… because I’d built it up in my head that I was going to get answers. And then I wasn’t going to get answers and it was really hard to deal with, really hard to deal with. And left me crying a lot for quite a few days. And I felt, I just felt awful because I’d let her down. And I know sensibly I haven’t let her down, but I felt it. And it’s like I say to people I should have known, I should have saved her, I should have saved her, I should have kept her safe. And people are like, well how can you have known. But I’m her mum and as a parent…


01:03:06.04 Andy Coulson:

There is no answer to that question…


01:03:07.13 Lisa Squire:

There’s no answer, you feel like it’s your responsibly to keep them safe, you want to keep them safe. And I couldn’t that night.


01:03:14.17 Andy Coulson:

Oh Lisa, I’m so sorry. The recognisable approach to managing grief is that it’s stages and that you work through the stages. It strikes me, listening to you, that you do not see it that way.


01:03:34.12 Lisa Squire:

No, no.


01:03:35.22 Andy Coulson:

That grief is something actually that can kind of change its shape any time.


01:03:40.12 Lisa Squire:

Yeah, sometimes hourly.


01:03:41.14 Andy Coulson:

Hourly and you do not see this as a process to work through, you see this as your life.


01:03:49.01 Lisa Squire:

That’s it now, yeah, that is exactly.


01:03:51.11 Andy Coulson:

For someone listening to this, I’m sure a lot of people listening to this will be, nothing other than full sympathy for you, but I suspect that there will be people listening to this saying well how are you going to find peace if you are going to have this continual ever-changing kaleidoscope of emotions around you that might come and whip round at any moment. What’s your view of that?


01:04:18.02 Lisa Squire:

I think, I mean, I haven’t lost my parents, my parents are still alive, but speaking to people who have lost older people, it’s the natural way, natural. So, I think then maybe the stages of grief and your grief gets smaller or gets less invasive, is possibly the way it is with an older person dying because you know it’s going to happen eventually.


01:04:40.05 Andy Coulson:

Well Stages of Grief is a book, Seven Stages, I think.


01:04:41.03 Lisa Squire:

It was, yes, yeah.


01:04:44.08 Andy Coulson:

Have you read it?


01:04:45.01 Lisa Squire:

No. No, I’ve heard lots about it, but I don’t agree with it so I’m not going to read it. But when you lose a child it’s so not what should happen. And I describe it as I have a really lovely life, I have a nice life, but in the centre it’s like a bomb’s gone off and there’s a massive Libby shaped crater. And on a good day we can walk round the edge of the crater without falling in but every now and then I slip back into the crater, and it takes me a while to come back out.


01:05:18.11 Andy Coulson:

But you know you will always find your way out.


01:05:19.04 Lisa Squire:

I know I’ll always come back up, yeah. I know I will because I don’t have a choice, I don’t have a choice.


01:05:26.19 Andy Coulson:

Well, you do have a choice.


01:05:27.00 Lisa Squire:

I do but I have other children, so I don’t have a choice and I don’t want to have that choice either. And for her, I mean, if I was to give up, and don’t get me wrong there have been times when I’ve thought, I’m not doing this anymore, I’m out of here, I can hear her say, ‘…oh mum I’m so sorry, this is because of me’. And I don’t want her to blame herself for anything silly that I would do. And I don’t want her to feel bad that I’m in a dark place and so I do it for her as well really.


01:05:59.13 Andy Coulson:

Lisa, I’m certain that people listening to this will feel that sympathy as I just described, but I think they’ll also want me to thank you for sharing your story with us. And I hope that they may well want to support your campaign so we’ll make sure in and around this podcast that we explain to them how they can do that. Resilience is a word that we use a lot on this podcast, it doesn’t really do justice to the strength that you and Russ and your family have demonstrated, for yourself and of course for Libby, so thank you.


01:06:30.13 Lisa Squire:

Thank you.


01:06:31.00 Andy Coulson:

We normally at this point ask our guest to give us their crisis cures. Cures is absolutely not the right word here, I think, but I wonder if you would give us three specific things that you’ve turned to, relied on, during this time.


01:06:49.24 Lisa Squire:

Talking, most definitely talking. Whether that’s to my husband, the children, my friends, my mum and dad or her. I talk to her a lot. I go into her bedroom and talk to her a huge amount.


01:07:02.16 Andy Coulson:

Get it out.


01:07:03.13 Lisa Squire:

Get it out, yeah, because if it’s out there then it doesn’t have such a hold over you. The second thing I do a lot, I write things down.


01:07:12.19 Andy Coulson:

As a journal? Are you a daily writer?


01:07:14.11 Lisa Squire:

I used to be a daily writer and I used to journal and then it became a bit of a, oh my goodness I haven’t written today, so it became a problem. So, I thought no, I’m just going to write things down when they come to me. So, I might type it out on my phone or write something down. And I find if it’s written down, again, that lessons it, because you can see it in black and white.


01:07:30.13 Lisa Squire:

And the third thing I do is, you know, if I’m having a bad day or it’s really bad, I work out what I can and can’t manage. What can I have control of, what can’t I have control of? And I take it in five-minute blocks. Or even if it’s really bad, okay, if I can get through the next minute, we’ll see what happens.



01:07:52.18 Andy Coulson:

You’ll break it down to a minute?


01:07:53.08 Lisa Squire:

Break it down into little bits because the mountain is huge but actually you have to take those first steps. And it’s okay if all you can do is get out of bed in the morning and brush your teeth. If that’s all you can do for the day, that’s okay. So, I keep that…


01:08:05.17 Andy Coulson:

That’s a triumph actually for some people, isn’t it?


01:08:07.04 Lisa Squire:

And I keep that in my head… that this massive, big thing is made up of lots of little things and let’s try and control one thing. And that works for me as well, breaking it down.


01:08:16.14 Andy Coulson:

So that’s seeing resilience not just as, we’ve talked about this with other guests, that’s not just seeing resilience as a sort of means to survive, it’s seeing resilience actually as something to be properly proud of.


01:08:29.11 Lisa Squire:

Yes. I think so.


01:08:32.02 Andy Coulson:

That that is an achievement.


01:08:34.05 Lisa Squire:

It is an achievement, yeah, it is.



01:08:37.20 Andy Coulson:

Lisa, thank you so much for your time.


01:08:38.20 Lisa Squire:

Thank you, thank you.


01:08:39.10 Andy Coulson:

And thank you for joining us.


01:08:40.24 Lisa Squire:

Thank you.

01:08:42.04 End of transcription