A brilliant Oxford student who stabbed her boyfriend in a drug-fuelled rage was shown mercy yesterday by a judge said he didn’t want to hinder her career prospects.
Aspiring heart surgeon Lavinia Woodward, 24, who has a history of cocaine and MDMA abuse, plunged a bread knife into Thomas Fairclough’s leg.
Cambridge-educated Mr. Fairclough, 25, told a 999 operator: “I think my girlfriend has taken a lot of drugs and is throwing a lot of stuff around the house.”
Woodward – awarded the highest first for many years at elite Christ Church College – also threw a laptop and glass jars at him and he needed four stitches to his wound.
She admitted unlawful wounding but found herself at the centre of controversy when a judge described her as ‘an extraordinary young lady’.
Ian Pringle QC acknowledged that the stabbing would normally result in a prison sentence, either immediate or suspended.
But at the hearing in May he said he would delay sentence to consider Woodward’s fate as one which hindered her career prospects would be “too severe.”
The court heard that the star student had already had articles published in medical journals.
Since the case in May when the judge deferred sentencing required that the defendant remain drug-free and not re-offend, she has been living with her mother in Milan and trying to kick her drug addiction.
Her barrister informed the court that Woodward had a “very troubled life”, struggled with drug addiction and had been abused by a former partner.
Yesterday Woodward walked free from Oxford Crown Court with a 10-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.
Since you are here
Since you are here, we wanted to ask for your help.
Journalism in Britain is under threat. The government is becoming increasingly authoritarian and our media is run by a handful of billionaires, most of whom reside overseas and all of them have strong political allegiances and financial motivations.
Our mission is to hold the powerful to account. It is vital that free media is allowed to exist to expose hypocrisy, corruption, wrongdoing and abuse of power. But we can't do it without you.
If you can afford to contribute a small donation to the site it will help us to continue our work in the best interests of the public. We only ask you to donate what you can afford, with an option to cancel your subscription at any point.
To donate or subscribe to The London Economic, click here.
The TLE shop is also now open, with all profits going to supporting our work.
The shop can be found here.
You can also SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER .