Oxford

Lavinia Woodward stab sentence appeal permission refused

Lavinia Woodward Image copyright PA
Image caption Lavinia Woodward stabbed her then boyfriend in the leg with a breadknife

An Oxford University student who was spared jail for stabbing her boyfriend has been denied permission to appeal against her sentence.

However, Lavinia Woodward, 24, can still apply to have her case heard by a full court of two or three judges.

She pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding at Christ Church college while drunk.

Judge Ian Pringle QC suspended her 10-month jail sentence and at an earlier hearing said he believed immediate custody would damage her career.

The case prompted a debate about inequality in the criminal justice system after he deferred her sentence to give her a chance to prove she was no longer addicted to drugs and alcohol.

He described Woodward as "an extraordinarily able young lady" and said sending her to prison would damage her hopes of becoming a surgeon.

Woodward appealed against her sentence but a judge at the Court of Appeal after reviewing her application denied her permission.

Image caption Woodward had ambitions to become a surgeon

Oxford Crown Court heard Woodward attacked her then boyfriend, whom she met on dating app Tinder, while he was visiting in December 2016.

She became angry when he contacted her mother on Skype when he realised she had been drinking.

She threw a laptop at him and stabbed him in the lower leg with a breadknife, also injuring two of his fingers.

In his sentencing remarks Judge Pringle said there were "many mitigating features" of the case, and she had shown "a strong and unwavering determination" to rid herself of her addictions.

Woodward has voluntarily suspended her studies at Oxford until the end of her sentence, when she will face a disciplinary procedure if she decides to return.

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