Oxford student who stabbed her lover Tinder in a rage fueled by alcohol and drugs could be spared
Lavinia met her would be her boyfriend, Thomas Fairclough, on the Tinder dating app. Almost from the start, both hit him. After all, Fairclough acknowledged that Lavinia was a beautiful, intelligent and determined young woman who was on the right track for a promising career. What is there to love?
Calling Her Mother
Finally, the honeymoon was over and Fairclough began to see Lavinia for what she was in reality, a troubled and stressed young woman who broke loose by drinking a lot and using drugs. In an effort to help him overcome his liquid and chemical addiction, Thomas called his mother …
A Battle Ensues
Enraged, Lavinia returned home to a distraught Fairclough, who had thought to help his girlfriend overcome his demons. She threw his laptop at him and as he broke on the floor behind him, she ran into the kitchen and grabbed a big, sharp bread knife.
Before he could stop her, Lavinia stabbed the young man in the leg with the bread knife, injuring his two fingers at the same time. Then, while still in shock from the stab wound, she began to stab with the knife. She was crazy and did not control, Thomas knew he had to overcome the pain to save her …
Thomas Fairclough managed to disarm and hold Lavinia before she hurt herself, and once she calmed down, he called the police. For her own safety, and because she had just stabbed her anxious boyfriend in a drug rage, she had to be detained.
She was eventually tried by Judge Ian Pringle QC. Weeks after her night in prison, she was strong enough to stand in front of the judge and plead guilty to hitting and stabbing her ex-boyfriend. But that was not the end of their story …
Extraordinary Young Girl
You see, Judge Pringle saw something at Lavinia Woodward. He did not see her as a drug-dependent student, but as an “extraordinarily competent girl.” The one he believed had talents that would be wasted if sent to prison.
Saving Her Life
However, the judge admitted that she had committed a crime that could have resulted in the loss of not one, but two lives. It was a sticky counter to be sure and Judge Pringle knew that if he postponed the sentence, there would be a good dose of reaction.
When she was finally released on bail, Lavinia reached out to Thomas Fairclough. She knew it was against her bail conditions, but she needed him to know she was sorry for what had happened. She admitted that she was wrong and that she needed help, but that gesture would eventually have been against her.
Return to Milan
At the same time, Woodward was suspended from Oxford pending his conviction and had no choice but to return to his mother’s villa in Milan. She shopped in fashion shops and spent her days in luxury. It was hardly a behavior that Judge Pringle would have considered, “becoming of an extraordinary young woman”, in the least …
In addition to her overt immaturity regarding her own health and safety, there are reports of doctors that Lavinia suffers from an emotionally unstable personality disorder. She also has an eating disorder and turned all of those things into a drug and alcohol addiction that she made no effort to improve her habits.
Determined to Come Clean
Still, the judge seemed to have a soft spot for the budding heart surgeon. As she waited for her conviction, she made incredible progress in the fight against her alcohol abuse and Pringle praised her for her “firm and unshakeable determination” to address her drug addiction. But was it enough?
She returned from Milan a new woman, ready to confront Oxford Crown Court and Judge Pringle. He had weighed heavily, taking into account the many mitigating circumstances of Lavinia’s story and his future, and he had made a decision. Finally, Lavinia Woodward was sentenced to 10 months in jail … suspended for 18 months.
Thanking the Judge
Leaving the courtroom, Lavinia was seen saying “thank you” to the judge. She would not have to serve anytime for nearly killing her boyfriend. It was a situation that was not exactly right for the public. Indeed, if she had not been young, pretty, woman or Blanche, the situation could have been very different …
As expected, the decision has been widely criticized by criminal justice activists. According to them, this situation has created a dangerous precedent for other men who are victims of domestic abuse. This would mean that many of them would resist the idea of making themselves known for fear that justice will be done to their aggressors.
Of course, after the trial, things were not easy for Lavinia Woodward. She had gained such notoriety that she could not even enter a London nightclub without being recognized. She may be a different woman, but that’s partly because the world is watching to make sure she does not drink. As for school …
May Not Return
The dean of Christ Church, the very reverend Professor Martyn Percy, has publicly stated that it remains uncertain whether Mrs. Woodward would be allowed to return to Oxford to complete her studies. The staff was naturally concerned about the welfare of their classmates. “It’s clearly a matter of regret and sadness when a young person flees a promising career by committing a crime,” he added.
However, there are other options available to her, but none of them are the same as she had worked so hard to win. The fear of Lavinia’s recognition forced her to consider pursuing a PhD or a research role abroad …
If She Wasn’t White…
John Azah, Executive Director of the Kingston Race and Inequalities Council, said, “I still wonder how justice services are legislating when it comes to the black minority and whites.” He added, “If it is not was not Oxford-educated, if she came from a disadvantaged area, I do not think she would have had the same sentence and was allowed to walk freely. “
Class and Race
In the end, the real impact of the case remains to be seen. Judge Pringle’s decision ignited a huge conversation about whether Woodward’s class and social position played a role in his conviction. If you look at the facts, that’s absolutely the case. Although it did not help him.