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Oxford University Medical Student Who Stabbed Boyfriend Spared Jail Time

Lavinia Woodward was given a suspended sentence

Oxford University student Lavinia Woodward, who stabbed her boyfriend with a bread knife and was dubbed ‘too clever for prison’ by the press, has been spared jail time. 

The 24-year-old aspiring heart surgeon met her boyfriend on Tinder before things turned ugly one night at Christ Church College in December 2016. He had gone to pick up Woodward’s medication from the chemist; when he got back, she attacked him in a blind rage, The Guardian reports.

Woodward stabbed his legs multiple times with a bread knife, a UK court heard, while under the influence of a cocktail of drugs and alcohol.

On Monday, the medical student was sentenced to 10 months in prison suspended for 18 months.

Judge Ian Pringle QC told Oxford Crown Court in May that he was willing to give Woodward a second chance.

“It seems to me that if this is was a one-off, a complete one-off, to prevent this extraordinarily talented 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.   

During sentencing, Pringle said the woman’s young age, lack of previous convictions and “deep sorrow for what happened” influenced his verdict.

He noted Woodward had also taken action to address her alcohol and drug dependency. 

“[A]s the reports from the experts make clear, you suffer from an emotionally unstable personality disorder, a severe eating disorder, and alcohol [and] drug dependence,” Pringle said, 7 News reports.

“Finally, and most significantly, you have demonstrated over the past nine months that you are determined to rid yourself of your alcohol and drug addiction and have undergone extensive treatment, including counselling, to address the many issues that you face.”

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