Exclusive: ‘Too clever for prison’ student who stabbed boyfriend quits Oxford

Budding heart surgeon Lavinia Woodward escaped prison for stabbing her boyfriend with a breadknife


The “highly intelligent” Oxford student spared prison for stabbing her boyfriend in the leg with a breadknife won’t be returning to Oxford Uni, The Tab can reveal.

Medical student Lavinia Woodward was spared prison after the judge said being locked up could harm her career as a heart surgeon.

After her appeal was denied, the university said she would face a disciplinary panel if she chose to return. She had suspended her studies, and would have been able to return this September at the earliest.

Now it has been confirmed that Lavinia won't be finishing her degree and has formally withdrawn from Oxford.

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On 30th December 2016, Lavinia stabbed her boyfriend in the leg with a breadknife and threw objects at him in a drunken attack.

At her trial, she was given a 10 month sentence, suspended for 18 months, with the judge praising her intelligence and saying immediate custody would harm her career as a heart surgeon. Newspaper headlines branded her “too clever for prison”.

Upon her sentencing, a spokesperson for the uni said that “no final decision has been reached or guarantee made” on Lavinia returning to her studies.

The Sun reported that she was “biding her time”, and an Oxford source told The Telegraph: "It's in her hands in terms of when she would like to come back, but it's not a done deal.”

Lavinia was in the frame to return in September, after her sentence finished this March. An appeal to have the sentence reduced failed, and her lawyer told the court she had accepted she would never be a heart surgeon, but hoped to pursue a career in medical research.

However, that won’t be at Oxford. The treasurer for Christ Church, Lavinia’s college, has told The Tab: "Ms Woodward has formally withdrawn from the college and the university.”

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Lavinia was a high-flying Oxford student, with research on lipoproteins and vein grafts published in journals. She met her boyfriend, a Cambridge student, on Tinder.

Arriving at her college room to find Lavinia drunk, he tried to stop her from drinking, and she became “increasingly volatile”. She discovered he had Skyped her mum to figure out what to do, flew into a rage, and started throwing objects around. He called 999, and Lavinia stabbed him with a bread knife, injuring his leg and fingers.

Emergency services arrived to find Lavinia, "intoxicated, deeply distraught and mentally disturbed”, having attempted to turn the knife on herself before her boyfriend disarmed her.

She was convicted of unlawful wounding. Sparing her from prison, the judge praised Lavinia for her determination to tackle her drug and alcohol addiction, as well as her genuine remorse.

After sentencing, The Sun reported that Lavinia was living in a million pound Kensington flat with her boyfriend, the son of a Russian billionaire, waiting for it all to “blow over” so she could return to Oxford.

An unnamed friend said Lavinia was lying low and biding her time. They told The Sun: "I think they would be happy to have her back, and that she will end up returning quietly. She's done some very interesting work in cardiology, they've described her as a future Nobel Prize winner."