‘Too clever’ for prison: Privileged Oxford medical student who stabbed Tinder date walks free
Lavinia Woodward walked from court on Monday after the medical student received a suspended sentence for an attack on a man she met on Tinder.
Woodward, 24, stabbed Thomas Fairclough in his lower leg at Christ Church College.
During the assault in December 2016, Fairclough, 25, sustained cuts to his hands and had numerous items thrown at him.
However, Woodward was deemed “too clever” for prison and was given months to deal with her drinking and drug problems before sentencing.
Her treatment under the British justice system has left onlookers livid.
“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,” John Azah, chief executive of the Kingston Race and Inequalities Council, told the Daily Telegraph.
Others claimed her case highlighted the dangerous difference between the treatment of men and women.
“The judge seems to think that domestic abuse, when it is committed by a woman against a man, is not as serious as it rightly is when it is the other way round,” said Mark Brooks, chairman of the ManKind Initiative.
Woodward admitted unlawful wounding at Oxford Crown Court, but Judge Ian Pringle QC said it would not be right to damage her chances of becoming a surgeon – a “long held” dream.
However, with a criminal record, her future in the medical profession may be damaged anyway, according to experts in the field.
Woodward attacked her boyfriend, who she had met on the Tinder dating app, after drinking.
Fairclough had attempted to contact Woodward’s parents, and had to call police to stop her assault.
The Milan-based Woodward has voluntarily stopped studies at Oxford because of her notoriety, but the world-famous university will decide how she is to be punished if she decides to go back.
During an audio recording of the police call, Fairclough can be heard screaming he had been stabbed by his girlfriend.
“I think my girlfriend has taken a lot of drugs and is throwing a lot of stuff around the house,” he said.
“Please come down here.”
Police took Woodward to a cell where she allegedly attempted suicide.
Social media users also hit out at the judgement, as men in similar situations have been jailed.
“If Lavinia Woodward wasn’t a privileged white girl she would be in prison by now. You can ignore the facts but it’s true,” said one Twitter user.
“Can we all just agree that if Lavinia Woodward was a man she’d be in jail for domestic violence with no prospect of being a doctor ever,” another user added.