Oxford Student who Stabbed Boyfriend Gets Suspended Sentence

Student Lavinia Woodward
Andrew Matthews/PA via AP

LONDON (AP) — An Oxford University student who stabbed her boyfriend with a bread knife will be able to avoid prison after receiving a suspended sentence Monday.

Lavinia Woodward was given a 10-month suspended sentence. The judge had said in May that he might not impose prison time, which prompted some British newspapers to complain she was getting special treatment because of her connection to the elite university.

The Sun tabloid wrote that she was judged “too brainy to be jailed.”

Oxford Crown Court Judge Ian Pringle told Woodward there were many “mitigating” factors that allowed him to suspend her sentence.

“Principally, at the age of 24 you have no previous convictions of any nature whatsoever,” he said. “Secondly, I find that you were genuinely remorseful following this event.”

He also said experts had concluded she suffered from a personality disorder, a severe eating disorder and dependence on alcohol and drugs.

The judge credited her with being “determined” to get rid of her drug and alcohol addictions.

“Finally, and most significantly, 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 counseling to address the many issues that you face,” he said.

Woodward had pleaded guilty earlier to “unlawful wounding,” which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

The incident happened on Dec. 30. The judge said her boyfriend visited her, found out she had been drinking, and called her mother, which infuriated Woodward.

He said she then attacked him with a bread knife, stabbing him in the lower leg, before turning the knife on herself. He said the boyfriend intervened to prevent her from harming herself.


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