Man accused of murdering Leeds student Bethany Fields set for transfer to secure hospital

Bethany Fields died after suffering stab wounds during incident on Fitzwilliam Street, Huddersfield, on September 12.
Bethany Fields died after suffering stab wounds during incident on Fitzwilliam Street, Huddersfield, on September 12.
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A man accused of murdering Leeds student Bethany Fields looks set to be transferred from prison to a secure hospital.

Miss Fields, 21, was found seriously injured on Fitzwilliam Street, Huddersfield, on Thursday September 12.

An inquest has heard she died after suffering numerous stab wounds.

Paul Crowther was due to enter a plea to the murder charge when he appeared before Leeds Crown Court today.

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

The 35-year-old appeared in court via a video link from Armley Jail for the hearing.

No charges were put after Crowther's barrister, Stephen Wood, told the court a psychiatrist had prepared a report recommending the defendant be transferred to Rampton Secure Hospital.

The recommendation now needs to be approved by the Secretary of State.

Mr Wood said he had only spoken with his client for the first time today as he had refused to leave his prison cell on previous occasions.

Crowther spoke only to confirm his name when he appeared on screen.

Judge Tom Bayliss, QC, ordered that the video link be ended midway through the hearing.

He said: "He has been identified and can't contribute anything to this."

A trial date was set for March 2 next year. Any trial is expected to last around five days.

No application was made for bail.

The judge said: "This is a dreadful case."

Miss Fields' relatives were in the public gallery during the 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."