The trial of a man accused of raping and murdering a university student from High Wycombe has heard evidence about the moments her friends realised she had gone missing.

Statements made by Libby Squire’s friends in the days after she disappeared in Hull, East Yorkshire, were read out at Sheffield Crown Court on Monday.

Pawel Relowicz, 26, of Raglan Street, Hull, denies raping and murdering the 21-year-old philosophy student on February 1 2019.

Richard Woolfall, prosecuting, told the court that Ms Squire spent the evening of January 31 drinking with friends before going to The Welly nightclub, where she was refused entry because she was “too drunk”.

Ms Squire’s housemates, Amelia Cummins and Chloe Wise, put their friend into a taxi and paid the taxi driver the fare to take her home to their house on Wellesley Avenue, the court heard.

Ms Cummins said in her statement: “I messaged Libby asking her to let me know she was home but I didn’t hear anything back so I thought she must have gone home and passed out.”

The court heard that they decided to return home when another housemate told them that Ms Squire was not in her bed, but they thought they would see her “wandering around the street” or that she would be with a neighbour.

Ms Cummins and Ms Wise drove “slowly” around the streets looking for their friend and called the police when they became “really worried”, the court heard.

Ms Cummins said: “We thought Libby would have turned up after wandering around in true Libby fashion.”

Nathan Murphy, who met Ms Squire on the philosophy and religion course at the University of Hull, said his friend had a “jovial personality” and was “outgoing with people she knew”, the court heard.

He said in his statement: “I find her to be very smart and her grades reflect that.”

The jury was told that Mr Murphy was “not worried” when he first heard that Ms Squire had gone missing.

He said: “I didn’t think anything of it as Libby is quite sensible and knows how to look after herself.”

But the court heard that he became more concerned when his friend did not attend a lecture the following day, which he described as “out of character”.

Earlier, the court heard that Ms Squire had a history of mental health issues, dating back to 2013, including deliberate self-harm, but a review in 2017 found her to be “bright and articulate and appeared happy about going to university in September”.