Originally published by Cherwell on 16 May 2017.
The 24 year old medic is likely to avoid jail and return to her College in October
Lavinia Woodward, a Christ Church medical student who stabbed her boyfriend during a drug-fuelled row, could be allowed to the College in October, following the decision of a high court judge to delay her sentencing until September.
The 24 year old stabbed her Cambridge student boyfriend, who she met on Tinder, in the leg before throwing a laptop and a jam jar at him. The argument took place after a night of heavy alcohol and drug use.
Woodward pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawful wounding at Oxford Crown Court, a crime which the judge, Ian Pringle, noted would ordinarily carry a prison sentence. The judge, however, delayed her sentencing until September and hinted that she would not be jailed on account of her “extraordinary” talent.
The court was told that Christ Church would allow her to resume her studies in October, in part because she has had articles published in medical journals and is “too bright” for her studies to be permanently disrupted.
Judge Pringle, noting that a prison sentence would affect her career, told The Telegraph:
“It seems to me that if this was a one-off, a complete one-off, to prevent this extraordinary able young lady from not following her long-held desire to enter the profession she wishes to, would be a sentence which would be too severe.
“What you did will never, I know, leave you but it was pretty awful, and normally it would attract a custodial sentence, whether it is immediate or suspended.”
According to the prosecutor, Woodward had met her boyfriend on Tinder. After her boyfriend called her mother on Skype, she punched him in the face before grabbing a bread knife and stabbing him in the leg.
The defence lawyer, James Sawyer QC, said the conviction had wrecked his client’s dream of being a heart surgeon, and described her as having a “very troubled life”.
A third year student at Magdalen College tweeted her disappointment at the lack of sentencing:
a sentence should be a sentence, regardless of how smart/well-off/well-educated you are. Being a good student in no way mitigates assault
— 🚫👣🐍 (@annecremin) May 16, 2017
Woodward will be sentenced on September 25, but was handed a restraining order in the interim. She is currently living in Milan with her mother.