UK judge investigated after sparing Oxford student who stabbed boyfriend

UK judge investigated after sparing Oxford student who stabbed boyfriend

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)

A British judge is being investigated after he spared a 24-year-old from jail for stabbing her boyfriend, reported British news site The Telegraph on Friday (Sep 29).

According to the report, Ian Pringle QC had given aspiring Oxford University student Lavinia Woodward a suspended sentence because a prison sentence would be “too severe” for an “extraordinarily able young lady” such as her.

Woodward, who is studying to be a heart surgeon, had stabbed her Cambridge University boyfriend in the leg with a bread knife while under the influence of alcohol and drugs. The judge sentenced her a 10-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, after she admitted to unlawful wounding.

The sentencing had received backlash online, with social media users pointing out the flaws in the UK’s criminal justice system.

On Thursday, the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) said it was investigating the judge’s conduct after receiving a complaint.

Said The Telegraph, citing the office’s spokesman: "The JCIO can confirm they have received a complaint against HHJ Ian Pringle QC. Any findings of misconduct against judicial office holders are published on the JCIO website at the conclusion of investigations."

The Telegraph’s report added that the JCIO is currently assessing whether the complaint received against Pringle QC matches its investigation criteria before taking action.

The watchdog covers areas such as racist, sexist or offensive language, falling asleep in court, failing to declare a potential conflict of interest or misusing judicial status for personal gain or advantage.

Source: CNA/ek