Oxford university student branded 'too clever' for prison after stabbing Tinder boyfriend launches appeal against sentence

An Oxford university student branded ‘too clever’ to be jailed after stabbing her boyfriend has launched an appeal bid against her sentence.

MirrorOnline reported in September how aspiring heart surgeon Lavinia Woodward, 24, had avoided jail for attacking her Tinder lover with a bread knife.

The medical student admitted stabbing boyfriend Thomas Fairclough during a fight at Christ Church college – and was handed a 10-month suspended sentence at Oxford Crown Court.

This afternoon it emerged that Woodward is attempting to appeal her sentence – and has applied for permission to take her case to the Court of Appeal.

The case gained notoriety on a national level when the judge described her as “an extraordinarily able young lady” – and said that sending her to prison would damage her hopes of becoming a surgeon.

Judge Pringle imposed a 10-month jail sentence – suspended for 18 months.

Lavinia Woodward, 24, arriving at Oxford Crown Court where she was sentenced for stabbing her boyfriend with a bread knife
(Image: PA)

Today a spokesman for the Court of Appeal told MirrorOnline: “Lavinia Woodward has submitted an application for permission to appeal.

“The next stage is for a single judge to consider the application on paper and if permission is granted it then the substantive appeal will be heard in court before three judges.”

Back in May, Judge Ian Pringle caused consternation when he told Woodward that she was unlikely to go to prison after he slapped her with a restraining order and delayed sentencing.

At the time he told her: “If this was a one-off, to prevent this extraordinarily able young lady from following her desire to enter the [medical] profession would be too severe.”

The court previously heard on the night she stabbed her boyfriend she also punched him in the face and threw a laptop
(Image: Facebook/Lavinia Woodward)

The case caused outcry, with critics suggesting a working class woman would not have been treated the same as the wealthy Oxford student.

The judge had told Woodward: “There are many mitigating features in your case.

“Principally, at the age of 24 you have no previous convictions of any nature whatsoever.

“Secondly, I find that you were genuinely remorseful following this event and, indeed, it was against your bail conditions, you contacted your partner to fully confess your guilt and your deep sorrow for what happened.

“Thirdly, whilst you are a clearly highly-intelligent individual, you had an immaturity about you which was not commensurate for someone of your age.”

The court had been told that the star student had already had articles published in medical journals and a prison term could have resulted in her being barred from working as a doctor.

Woodward, who has a history of cocaine and MDMA abuse, plunged the bread knife into her lover’s leg.

Cambridge-educated Mr Fairclough, 25, told a 999 operator: “I think my girlfriend has taken a lot of drugs and is throwing a lot of stuff around the house.”

In May Judge Ian Pringle told Woodward that she was unlikely to go to prison
(Image: David Hedges / SWNS.com)

She is understood to have sought treatment for drug addiction and moved to Milan since her court appearance in May.

The court previously heard on the night she stabbed her boyfriend she also punched him in the face and threw a laptop, a jam jar and a glass at him in the university halls of residence.

It emerged after the court case that the student had been warned just two weeks before the attack, when a colleague discovered she had been taking drugs.

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