Oxford student who stabbed boyfriend has appeal refused

Lavinia Woodward was spared jail at Oxford Crown Court last year, after she received a suspended sentence

Lavinia Woodward, Photo: Facebook

An Oxford University student who stabbed her boyfriend has had an appeal against her sentence refused.

Lavinia Woodward, a Christ Church medical student, was convicted of the December 2016 attack in September last year, but has not served time in prison.

The 24-year old’s permission to appeal was denied by a judge at the Court of Appeal, following Woodward’s earlier trial at Oxford Crown Court.

Last year, Judge Ian Pringle QC gave Woodward a ten month sentence, suspended for 18 months, for unlawful wounding.

Woodward drunkenly stabbed her boyfriend of the time in the leg with a bread knife.

In the initial trial, Pringle stated: “It seems to me that if this was a one-off, a complete one-off, to prevent this extraordinarily 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.”

Such comments led to accusations of judicial leniency and inequality. Woodward was branded by some as “too clever” for prison.

The chief executive of the Kingston Race and Inequalities Council, John Azah, told The Daily Telegraph at the time: “If she wasn’t Oxford-educated, if she came from a deprived area, I don’t think she would have got the same sentence and been allowed to walk free.”

Woodward, an aspiring heart surgeon, has voluntarily suspended studies at Oxford, but could still return. She has also attended a drug and alcohol clinic.

Pringle also stated at Woodward’s trial: “You have demonstrated over the last 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.”

Complaints against Judge Ian Pringle were dismissed since they did not concern personal conduct.