Man accused of murdering York student Bethany Fields handed life sentence

Paul Crowder pleaded guilty to manslaughter

A man who was described as “manipulative, abusive and controlling” has been handed a life sentence for murdering former York student Bethany Fields, who studied Environmental Geography.

Per The York Press, Paul Crowther, 36, was convicted of manslaughter at Leeds Crown Court. Judge Tom Bayliss QC said Mr. Crowther from Batley, West Yorkshire, was “a very dangerous man indeed”, declaring that he should be detained in hospital as part of a minimum 12-year sentence.

After Miss Fields ended a relationship with Mr. Crowther, he had three appointments at the Dewsbury Psychiatric Hospital, but was not initially detained despite saying he would willingly attack others and kill himself.

Mr. Crowther was diagnosed with schizoprenia following the death of Miss Fields, with Judge Bayliss stating that “Bethany Fields did what she could to help him with his mental health issues but it all became too much for her to cope with and she ended their relationship.”

Whilst hosting a music therapy event at a pub in Huddersfield on September 12 last year, Crowther launched what Judge Bayliss called a “targeted and sustained attack” on Miss Fields, who “was stabbed multiple times”. She was later pronounced dead at the scene despite attempts to save her life.

In a statement following her death, Beth’s family 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.”

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