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.