11:24, September 25 352 0 theguardian.com

2017-09-25 11:24:03
Oxford student gets suspended sentence for stabbing boyfriend

An Oxford University student who stabbed her boyfriend with a bread knife has been given a suspended jail sentence.

A judge prompted controversy earlier this year when he reportedly told Lavinia Woodward a jail sentence could damage her prospects of a medical career and would be too severe as a result.

The judge’s comments triggered accusations of leniency and tabloid headlines such as “too clever for prison”.

Woodward, an aspiring heart surgeon, studying at Christ Church, Oxford. She previously admitted unlawfully wounding the Cambridge University student, whom she met on the dating app Tinder.

Judge Ian Pringle QC, sitting at Oxford crown court, sentenced Woodward to 10 months in prison suspended for 18 months.

Earlier in the year, Pringle hinted Woodward would not be jailed. “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,” he said.

“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,” he said.

Woodward, who lives in Milan, Italy, with her mother, stabbed her then-boyfriend in the leg after punching him in the face. She then hurled a laptop, glass and jam jar at him during the attack on 30 September last year, the court previously heard.

Christ Church has said it would allow Woodward to return in October because she “is that bright” and has had articles published in medical journals.

More details soon...