Oxford Uni medical student spared jail for stabbing boyfriend quits degree to pursue barrister dream

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Lavinia Woodward plans to study law at unnamed London university, ‘friend’ claims

Lavinia Woodward (credit: everipedia)

An Oxford University medical student who was spared prison for stabbing her boyfriend with a bread knife now plans to become a barrister after quitting her original degree course early.

Lavinia Woodward, 26, pleaded guilty in 2017 to unlawful wounding and was given a 10-month custodial sentence, suspended for 18 months, following an attack on her then partner at her university accommodation at Christ Church College. At the time, Judge Ian Pringle QC, sitting at Oxford Crown Court, said an immediate custodial would damage her career.

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Woodward could have returned in September, but it’s now emerged she won’t be completing her medical degree and has formally withdrawn from the university, The Tab reports.

But the story doesn’t end there. Woodward, who was described by Judge Pringle as “an extraordinarily able young lady”, now has her sights set on a career in law.

Citing a “friend” of Woodward’s, the Mail Online reports that she now plans to study law at a university in London with hopes of becoming a barrister.

Woodward, however, faces a tough road ahead. Academics and pupillage aside, she would have to disclose her criminal conviction to the barristers’ regulator, the Bar Standards Board (BSB). It would then decide whether or not Woodward can qualify and practise as a barrister.

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Good to see she’s staying sharp like a knife in the sheath lmao


LC Team

All jokes about pork swords will be deleted henceforth.



One assumes that she is no longer invited to partake in afternoon tea.



She needs to adopt the House Bolton motto


Matthew Shardlake

I suppose she might as well have a stab at the law!



I would like to think a very recent wounding conviction motivated by drug and alcohol abuse would prevent you from even joining an Inn of Court, never mind dealing with the BSB. No Inn, no BPTC, no call etc.

But denying her membership of an Inn would ‘hurt her career’ I suppose. So what do I know?



Chat sh*t, get banged.



Imagine this girl coming up to you looking to carve a case, how could you refuse?! 😳



I’d say she has a pretty sharp brain.



We don’t want her…



There are more than enough fantastic candidates for pupillage committees to choose from already. I can’t see a sensible set going for her.



Could we stop trivialising Domestic Violence when the perpetrator is photogenic?

It is a truly horrendous crime and what will stop it, is society changing the way it tolerates it.



Yes. I am not sure Hayley from the local council estate, predicted a First Class degree from the University of East London after stabbing her boyfriend would have got anywhere near the opportunities, sympathy and attention Lavinia gets.



People from council estates go to uni?



Hayley would have gone to jail no matter how talented she is



Tbf, being predicted any kind of degree from uel is punishment enough



More in the single use category, but you would. But one would be mad to dip into capital for that type.



I wish her well



Core Duty 5 much? Way to bring the profession into disrepute.



Perhaps the QC that ran her trial can give a word of advice.



Core Duty 5 does not apply to her previous behavior.

One mistake should not define her career



Want to be in a professional that requires honesty? Don’t commit an offence. How can officers of the Court and those that administer justice be seen to do that if they themselves have failed to follow law?
Not a dishonety offence, but hardly a ‘mistake’ to be trivialised



Her offence was not related to dishonesty. not all offences are dishonesty related you Twassack



Being a pretty white girl seems fun.



The joys of being privileged



Sure beats the misery of self-pity and its self-enforcing repercussions.



Think you’re all underestimating how difficult it is to be admitted with a conviction. Friend of mine was admitted to his Inn despite a criminal damge conviction when he was 17. He fell over drunk and broke a window. Pleaded Guilty and got a conditional discharge, so his conviction was spent. He was still admitted, but had to provide the case papers showing how minor it really was and that as he pleaded guilty he hadn’t been dishonest.

Her conviction will not be spent and she has the added difficulty that she was convicted after trial so was disbelived on oath. In the unlikley event she is admitted, she will have to explain why her medical degree was 3 years not 5 and why she didn’t graduate with a full medical degree, so there’s no hiding it at interview. No chambers is going to want to mess about doing risk assessments of her for Complience. Any Complience Officer is going to say, too much hassel take someone else.

She’s got two hopes and one of them is Bob.



Informative comment but so many spelling errors 🤔



Sorry. Typing on phone with bandaged finger.


Steven Seagull

Did you cut yourself with a sharp knife?


Lil Wayne

I don’t know the specifics of her case, but at Oxford the first three years of medicine can be cashed in as a BSc in Medical Sciences. It seems likely that she left Oxford at this stage…




Mate of mine also had an offence on his record and he had to go before a three person panel before he was called, and it was a split decision 2:1 in his favour, so he got in by the skin of his teeth. We all know that the BSB is far less inclined to disbar than the SDT is to strike from the roll, but the position is very different for those who have not yet been admitted. She has a mountain to climb, although her avoiding jail for the offence in question indicates that she has remarkable powers of persuasion.



Exactly – given that the hurdles for her to succeed are so formidable I wish her well.

If she does overcome them it will be a testament to her commitment and ability in overcoming the prejudice of being a toff offender (a toxic stigma in todays diverse low quality world)



Hardley difficult. If she’d had admitted it in interview, gone to prision, studied for an OU Law degree whilst serving her time and then applied for pupillage I’d be more disposed to give her a second chance. That would be overcoming difficulties and prejudice. As has been pointed out a male of any class would have gone to prision for stabbing his girlfiend as I suspect would a working class girl. She has had no difficulties in her life to overcome and never had to face the consequances of her action. Plenty of pretty entitled girls to take on if thats your bag how are not violent nutcases.


Random passer-by

The young lady is clearly smart, and probably comes from a wealthy family. She will get her degree from UCL or KCL, smash a first, get a masters and then disappear to Dubai, Hong Kong or Singapore to practice where no one will care about her criminal behaviour. Her parents will pull some strings, she will buy a flat there and start earning megabucks. Then maybe in 10 years time she will head back over these shores and do the QLT or bar transfer test. Either that or some feminist barrister friend of her mother in Temple will give her a chance, as clearly it is the boyfriends fault he got stabbed. The reality is that when you are rich, your mistakes are rarely fatal to your career, and you will always find a way to get a second chance. As an above poster mentioned, a white girl from a poor background would have been cooked by now, not to talk of a man (just imagine if a man, any man, stabbed his partner with a kitchen knife, the situation would be so different).



BSB will welcome her with open arms. After all she went to Oxford. Stabbed her boyfriend want does that matter these days.



Infirm of purpose. Give me the dagger



Domestic violence is no joke. She should be locked up for society’s protection, not starting on a professional career path. She will never be admitted in any event, which is some kind of justice.



Absolutely. I have serious concerns about her character and would not want a person like that representing me in court if I had a choice.

What is she going to say if the clients ask “Why did you stab your boyfriend?”



The small print…

The Tab reports that bf came to her flat.
She was very drunk.
He skyped her mum to find out how to deal with her.
Upon him the ringing the police she stabbed him, injuring his hand and leg.
He disarmed her of the weapon.
She seemed to still be with him after the trial and conviction.
He was the son of a Russian billionaire.
It seems odd to me that the criminal charge could not be withdrawn by bf.
One can imagine him ringing the police may have been unwise because what else are they going to do but pursue a domestic violence line and threaten her career as a surgeon as they do so.
I half expect the Judge has had to deal with it as an international incident, with the prosecution not being withdrawn, and too clever for prison fits the bill.
But the problem of phoning the police being your downfall remain.
To address the comparator: A working class person, or a poor person would , i imagine, have had calling the police right at the bottom of the list of actions, below ‘close the door on your unhappy drunk girlfriend, and return to the flat in the morning, so you dont make things worse’.

If i am right…poor lass, poor lad.



Are you some kind of idiot?

If you knew the first thing about criminal law you would know that the boyfriend could not stop the prosecution, especially in a domestic violence case.



Exactly this. Criminal law is not about private rights but public interest, and it is not in the public interest that individuals who commit indictable offences against the person while under the influence of drugs and alcohol be allowed to walk free with no repercussions. As an extreme example, do you think the ‘victims’ in R v Brown wanted a prosecution to go ahead?

This is, as noted, much more serious in domestic violence cases where victims are often coerced and unduly influenced to drop charges. That is why s.80(3) PACE 1984 allows the prosecution to compel spouses to give evidence in domestic violence cases.



The current millionaire boyfriend is not the same as the boyfriend she stabbed.


Public Defender

There are much worse examples of knife crime that I can think of.

Nor is it really domestic abuse



Sure. Stabbing your boyfriend is not classified as DV as obviously a boyfriend is not a “connected person”. Every actually been in a court?



Don’t talk shit.


Steven Seagull

She’ll need to be really sharp to make the best of it.



Cheeky little minx…



There’s a lot of deleting going on. Shame.

Alex please could you explain why.


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