Man charged with murder of ‘kind and gifted’ York student

Bethany Fields
17 Sep 2019 @ 11.26 am
| Crime, News

A 21-year-old York student who died after being found injured in the street was warm-hearted, kind and gifted, her tutor said today.

Bethany Fields was found in Fitzwilliam Street, Huddersfield, at 6.12pm on Thursday and was pronounced dead at the scene.

A man has been charged with her murder.

Bethany had just completed two years of an Environmental Geography degree at the University of York.

Professor Mark E Hodson, head of the Department of Environment and Geography, said:

  • It was with great sadness that we heard the news of Beth’s untimely death.

    She was an enthusiastic and committed student and popular with her classmates.

    She was a warm-hearted, kind student with a gift for communication.

    Beth particularly enjoyed the field work involved in her degree programme and following on from field courses in the Lake District and Iceland was all set to carry out her final year dissertation project on glaciers.

    Our thoughts are with her family and friends.

A spokesman for the university said: “This is a shocking and tragic situation and we are offering support to staff and students.”

Beautiful and talented

The family of Bethany, who was from Bramley in Leeds, issued a statement. They said:

  • The life of Bethany, who was a beautiful, talented, ambitious, intelligent, kind, giving and loving daughter, was tragically taken from her.

    A daughter, who any parent would have been proud of, much loved and respected by all: family, friends, work colleagues and fellow students.

    She will be sadly missed, but never forgotten, forever in our hearts and thoughts.

    Heaven has gained the brightest star of them all.

As well as studying environmental geography at university, Bethany was taking a music mentoring course and worked with a charitable organisation for people with physical and learning difficulties, her family said.

Trial date set

Leeds Crown Court. Photograph © Mtaylor848 on Wikipedia
Paul Crowther, of Elm Way, Birstall, has been charged with murder and possession of a bladed article.

Crowther was due appear at Leeds Crown Court today (17 September), but did not attend.

Mark McKone, prosecuting, told Judge Rodney Jameson QC: “Mr Crowther is obviously remanded in custody.

“I understand he has elected not to attend court today.”

No application for bail was made during the brief hearing and a provisional trial date was set for March 2 next year.

Judge Jameson said: “In the case of Paul Crowther, I will fix a date for a plea and trial preparation hearing on October 31.

“I will fix a provisional trial date for March 2 2020, with a time estimate of five days plus, and Mr Crowther will remain remanded in custody.”