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Oxford student loses bid to appeal boyfriend stabbing conviction

An Oxford student has lost her bid to appeal a suspended sentence for stabbing her boyfriend.

The Court of Appeal ruled that Lavinia Woodward, 25, could not successfully challenge her 10 month sentence, which was suspended for eighteen months.

Woodward pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawful wounding at Oxford Crown Court last year following the December 2016 attack, which took place in Christ Church.

Woodward, a medical student, stabbed her then boyfriend in the lower leg with a breadknife, also injuring two fingers. Oxford Crown Court heard last year that she had become angry at his contacting her mother on Skype, after discovering that she had been drinking.

Court of Appeal Judge Johannah Cutts rejected her appeal, stating that the Crown Court judge had taken exceptional steps by suspending her jail term. His sentence was “constructive and compassionate”, according to the judge.

Oxford Crown Court judge Ian Pringle QC stated that a suspended sentence was an opportunity for Woodward to prove she no longer had an addiction to drugs and alcohol.

Pringle noted at sentencing that Woodward was “an an extraordinarily able young lady”. He deferred the sentence as he also believed sending her to prison would damage her career hopes of becoming a surgeon.

This move triggered a debate surrounding inequality in the criminal justice system.

Woodward has voluntarily suspended her studies at the University of Oxford. Cherwell understands Woodward would face disciplinary procedures if she were to return.

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