Oxford student spared jail for knife attack because it might 'damage her career': Reports

Oxford student spared jail for knife attack because it might 'damage her career': Reports

lavinia woodward
Student Lavinia Woodward arrives at Oxford Crown Court to be sentenced, in Oxford, England, Monday Sept. 25, 2017. (Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA via AP)

UNITED KINGDOM: An Oxford student who stabbed her boyfriend in a drug- and alcohol-fuelled rage has been given a suspended prison sentence after a judge ruled that she was "too clever for prison", according to several media outlets. 

Lavinia Woodward, 24, an aspiring heart surgeon, received a 10-month prison sentence on Monday (Sep 25), suspended for 18 months, for stabbing her then-boyfriend, whom she had met on Tinder, with a knife, reported the Telegraph.

Oxford Crown Court heard that Woodward attacked her boyfriend when he was visiting her in December. She reportedly became angry when he contacted her mother after he discovered that she had been drinking.

She then stabbed him in the leg after punching him in the face. She also threw a laptop, glass and jam jar at him during the attack, injuring two of his fingers, said the Guardian.

Woodward later tried to stab herself with the knife before her boyfriend stopped her.

Although Woodward had previously admitted to unlawfully wounding her boyfriend, Judge Ian Pringle QC said during her trial in May that a long-term prison sentence would "damage her career" plans to become a surgeon, said the BBC.

Pringle added that there were many "mitigating factors" that led him to the decision to suspend her sentence, including the fact that the injuries inflicted on Woodward's boyfriend were "relatively minor".

He said that Woodward had no previous convictions as well and seemed "genuinely remorseful" for her actions as she had contacted her boyfriend to confess her guilt.

Pringle also took into consideration Woodward's personality disorder, severe eating disorder, and alcohol and drug dependence. The drug abuse reportedly started during an abusive relationship with a previous boyfriend, said the BBC.

The judge then deferred the sentence by describing the attack as a "complete one-off", prompting outcry by social media users who pointed out the flaws in the UK's criminal justice system.

Some highlighted class inequality while others brought up gender issues.

According to James Sturman QC who was defending Woodward in court, she will be going back to rehab but has "given up hope" of returning to Oxford because of the publicity the case had garnered. 

He said she was considering a PhD abroad or a research role in a different university, said Yahoo News. 

Source: CNA/aa

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