Lavinia Clementine Woodward is a British medical student at Oxford University who, during a drink and drug fuelled episode attacked her boyfriend after a date, throwing a laptop and jar at him, punching him, and eventually stabbing him with a bread knife. She had been previously charged with two similar crimes, but the charges were ordered to lie on file rather than being pursued.
Woodward, the daughter of an oil executive, sparked a public outcry when a Judge implied that her talent and career choice would influence her sentence. Deferring her sentence, Judge Ian Pringle referred to Woodward as extraordinarily able and suggested that a jail term would be too severe.
When Woodward was sentenced four months later, her ten month prison sentence was suspended for eighteen months. This prompted many to speculate that had Woodward been working class the outcome would have been different.
Woodward caused more anger when she attempted to appeal her already lenient sentence. She was denied permission by the Court of Appeal. She then applied to have her case heard before more judges, who also denied her bid, stating that the action taken was already exceptional.