An Oxford student who was found guilty of stabbing her boyfriend could be spared jail time after a judge announced she had an ‘extraordinary’ talent for medicine.
The student, 24-year-old Lavinia Woodward, who went to Christ Church College, Oxford, stabbed her boyfriend’s leg on December 30 last year. The couple had a drink-and-drug-fuelled argument during which Woodward punched and swiped at her boyfriend’s leg with a bread knife.
During the argument, Woodward’s Cambridge-educated boyfriend had threatened to call up her mother, which lead to Woodward stabbing him in the leg. The victim, who is believed to be a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge, had started dating Woodward after they met through the Tinder dating app.
Woodward had pleaded a charge of unlawful wounding at the Oxford Crown Court. According to Judge Ian Pringle, an offence such as this would usually mean a custodial sentence, but he postponed the sentence for four months suggesting that she wouldn’t be jailed because of her ‘extraordinary’ talent.
Pringle said, “It seems to me that if this was a one-off, a complete one-off, to prevent this extraordinarily 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 also said that “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.”
The court was informed that Woodward would be allowed to return to her college in October since she had articles published in medical journals and “is that bright.” But due to Woodward’s criminal conviction, it would be unlikely that she will be allowed to become a surgeon, according to Jim Sturman, who was defending her.
Woodward’s work has appeared in publications such as the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, Hypertension, and The Journal of Physiology. An anonymous source informed that her ambition was to cure heart diseases, adding that she had topped her class in pre-clinical tests which are to be given by all Oxford medical students in their third year.
Woodward’s Facebook page shows she had previously attended Sir James Henderson British School of Milan, Italy, which cost a staggering £16,000 per year. She then left the school and started her degree at Oxford in 2011.
According to Woodward’s lawyer, Woodward had been abused by her mother and former partner and thus led a “very troubled life.” Sturman said that she had been making a lot of effort in order to get her life back on track saying, “She has been seeing a counsellor. This is not a soft option – this is a judge giving her a fair chance to prove herself.”
It is believed that Woodward is currently on holiday in Barbados and is expected to return to university at the starting of the next academic year. A spokesperson from the college said, “I’m afraid that Christ Church does not comment on the circumstances of individual students.”
Woodward’s final sentence will be on September 25. Till then she has been told to remain drug-free and has been given a restraining order.
This article originally appeared on The Telegraph
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