Murder accused refuses to leave cell for court hearing over death of Leeds student Bethany Fields

Bethany Fields died after being found with serious injuries in Huddersfield on Thursday
Bethany Fields died after being found with serious injuries in Huddersfield on Thursday

A man accused of murdering Leeds student Bethany Fields has refused to leave his cell for a court hearing.

Paul Crowther was due to make his first appearance after being charged with murder over the death of the 21-year-old.

Miss Fields was found seriously injured on Fitzwilliam Street, Huddersfield, on Thursday September 12.

Crowther, of Elm Way, Birstall, is also charged with possession of a blade.

Mark McKone, prosecuting, said Crowther had "elected not to attend court".

A date for a plea hearing was set for October 31.

Mr McKone said Crowther was due to be assessed by a doctor who would have a report prepared ahead of the next hearing.

A provisional trial date was set for March 2 next year.

Any trial is excepted to last five days.

No application was made for bail.

Judge Rodney Jameson, QC, adjourned the hearing and ordered Crowther be remanded in custody until the next hearing.

Miss Fields' relatives were in the public gallery during the brief hearing.

During tributes after her death they described how she had "a bright future ahead of her".

In a statement released via the police, 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.

"Bethany had a bright future ahead of her.

"She was studying Environmental Geography at university, travelling to Iceland to study the effects of glacial melts on the environment and to the Canary Islands to study volcanoes.

"She was musically gifted, starting on a music mentoring course and gradually during the holidays working at a studio.

"More recently, she worked with a charitable organisation for people with physical and learning difficulties. Through this, she brought much joy and pleasure into other people’s lives.

"Bethany had a wonderfully pleasant nature, with a love of nature, plants and animals.

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