Philosophy student Libby Squire would “never voluntarily put herself in water”, the court heard.

In a statement read to Sheffield Crown Court neonatal nurse Lisa Squire said her daughter had a fear of water all her life, never going swimming in pools and being frightened of the sea.

Mrs Squire said: “I know she’d never voluntarily put herself in water, especially moving water, she would be too terrified.”

She said that Miss Squire had only recently, for the first time, stood at the edge of a pool on a family holiday as she read a book.

Mrs Squire said her daughter was also scared of the dark and would never take a shortcut home by herself.

In the statement read to the court by prosecutor Richard Wright QC, Mrs Squire said Libby was the eldest of her four children and would joke that she was her favourite.

But she added: “We were that in sync – I would describe us as being ‘almost as one’.”

Mrs Squire described the mental health problems her daughter grappled with as a teenager but said she was coping much better before her death and said: “She was planning her future and was in the best place in her life she had ever been.”

She described how she took Miss Squire back to Hull four days before she went missing and said: “She was looking forward to being back and seeing her friends.”

Mrs Squire said that, despite normally talking to her daughter every day, she did not speak to her on January 31, before she went missing, due to work commitments.

She said that, when she was told her daughter was missing: “I knew something was not right. This was not in Libby’s nature at all.”

Mrs Squire said her daughter was a “girly girl” and a “real people person” who liked reading, fitness and emo music. She said Miss Squire had a “wicked sense of humour” and was very organised.

In another statement read to the court, her long-term boyfriend from Buckinghamshire, Connor Pye, said Miss Squire “thrived” at university and loved college life.

He said she never missed a lecture and, despite worrying about whether her work was good enough, got really good grades and one of her lecturers said they had “never seen someone with such a passion for learning”.

Mr Pye said he exchanged message with Miss Squire, using one her friend’s phones, while she was out on the evening of January 31.

He said: “She seemed happy. Nothing to make me think there were any problems.”