YORK University has paid tribute to a popular student who died after being found injured on a street in Huddersfield last Thursday.

Bethany Fields had just finished her second year of an environmental geography degree at the university.

A man accused of murdering the 21-year-old is expected to go on trial next year.

Ms Fields, an environmental geography student, was described as "the brightest star of them all" in a tribute released by her family after her death.

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."

Prof Mark E Hodson, head of the department of environment and geography at the University of York, said: "It was with great sadness that we heard the news of Beth’s untimely death.

"Beth had just completed her second year in environmental geography.

"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."

Paul Crowther, 35, has been charged with murdering Bethany.

Crowther was due to appear at Leeds Crown Court on Tuesday morning, 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."

Crowther, of Elm Way, Birstall, was charged with murder and possession of a bladed article after Ms Fields was found in Fitzwilliam Street at 6.12pm on September 12 and pronounced dead at the scene.

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