Student 'spared jail' for her academic potential after stabbing boyfriend could still be expelled from college

Anthony Pearce
Lavinia Woodward stabbed her boyfriend in the leg

An “extraordinary” Oxford University student who stabbed her boyfriend in the leg with a bread knife may still be barred from college, despite seemingly avoiding jail.

Lavinia Woodward, 24, attacked Thomas Fairclough, before throwing a laptop, a glass and a jam jar at him, during a row fuelled by drink and drugs.

But last week, judge Ian Pringle delayed sentencing for four months — and indicated that jail would be “too severe” because of her academic potential.

Woodward, a student at Christ Church college at Oxford, met her boyfriend, who goes to Cambridge University, on Tinder.

Lavinia Woodward has been called ‘manipulative’ (Lavinia Woodward/Facebook)
A judge said a custodial sentence would be ‘too severe’ (Lavinia Woodward/Facebook)

It has since come to light that the medical student was already on a final warning from her college when she attacked 25-year-old Fairclough.

She was told: “Any more drug-taking, or misconduct of any kind, would indeed result in expulsion.”

MORE: Lavinia Woodward’s treatment tells its own story about the flawed ‘Great Meritocracy’
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A spokesman for the University of Oxford has now said that any comments suggesting Woodward would be allowed to complete her studies at Christ Church “were the judge’s not the college’s”.

He added there was “no guarantee of a return”.

Last week, a court heard how Woodward’s behaviour “deteriorated” at the time of the attack on September 30.

But the judge said: “It seems to me that if this was a one-off, a complete one-off, to prevent this extraordinary able young lady from not following her long-held desire to enter the profession she wishes to, would be a sentence which would be too severe.

“What you did will never, I know, leave you but it was pretty awful, and normally it would attract a custodial sentence, whether it is immediate or suspended.”

A source has alleged Woodward’s behaviour was not out of character (Lavinia Woodward/Facebook)

Woodward wasn’t in court as she is currently living in Milan, Italy, with her mother.

However, a source told the Daily Mail, that the assault was part of wider behaviour.

They said: “This was not a solitary incident. There are other people she has threatened. She needs help. I don’t think a clear picture of her has come from the court case.”

A contemporary at Christ Church said: “I’m not at all surprised she’s ended up attacking someone with a knife, at least three people have been threatened by her.

“She has been so clever and manipulative. The judge has presented her as this talented student who’s made one mistake in life but actually she’s got this history that hasn’t been considered.”

One female student and former friend said: “It is surreal the [knife] attack could be contemplated as a one-time event. Her history is peppered with traumatised people – she had an incredibly short fuse.”

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