Oxford student who stabbed her BF appeals 10 month suspended sentence.

Watch
This discussion is closed.
GillisRobbieWGS
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#21
Report 2 weeks ago
#21
I know that this post is two years old, but I am writing an EPQ on her case and I have rather a lot to say. There were several things wrong with the reporting of her case. The media mostly portrayed her as a pretty little girl from an upper-middle class background whose dad was also at Oxford and they gave this as one of the key reasons why the judge gave her a suspended sentence- which is another point actually, she wasn't "let off" by the judge as most of the newspapers state, she was told that she was to continue her counselling and prove that she could stay off drugs for the 18 months that her sentence was suspended for. There was a judge on Good Morning Britain who said that the sentencing guidelines for her crime were between 6 months and three years. This was the first time that Woodward had offended (also a mistake that the media made, most of them said that she'd done something similar in the past) and she had just come out of an abusive relationship, that man had introduced her to cocaine and drinking large sums of alcohol. These mitigating factors meant that the judge sentenced her to 10 months imprisonment suspended for 18. The judge on Good Morning Britain highlighted that when a sentence is anything under 12 months, regardless of the crime, the government say, "Please please try and avoid sending them to prison". This I assume is because of the cuts the ministry of justice has faced since 2010 which has led to prisons being understaffed etc. The arguments about white privilege are nonsense and I'll tell you why. In the same year as her trial, there was another trial called R v Mustafa Bashir. This case was about a regional level cricket player from Manchester who beat his wife with a cricket bat and forced her to drink bleach, which I believe he did plead guilty to. He was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment which was suspended for 10 months because he'd lied to the court about a training contract he'd received with Leicestershire County Cricket Club. When it was discovered that this was false, he was sent down immediately, despite the BBC reporting that is was "due to public outcry" (read the Secret Barrister's blog post on it, he's also done one on Woodward). I reckon that Woodward's crime of stabbing her boyfriend in the leg and Bashir's crime of beating his wife with a cricket bat and forcing her to drink bleach are on rather similar scales, as were their sentences, yet the backgrounds they come from could not be more different.
Back to Lavinia Woodward: As I mention, she was a Class A drug addict and was alcoholic too. The justice she received is called restorative justice, whereby her sentenced is lessened, not because she's got "white privilege" or because "the judge took pity on her", but because sending her to prison would have done her no good because she would have come back out and still have been addicted to drugs and her future would have been totally gone. She may not be a heart surgeon as she had wanted to be when she was 24, but now she is doing research, and when she was a student, there was a research facility set up and funded based on an observation she'd made in a class. Sending her to prison would also have not done the system any good because her crime was relatively minor, and yes, I understand that knife crime needs to be taken VERY seriously, but her boyfriend only needed a few stitches, not to mention that her responsibility was diminished BECAUSE she was on drugs, and for the journalists and reporters who all said "if she's smart enough to be at Oxford then she should be smart enough not to stab her boyfriend" I find it rather sad and despicable that they could peer down their noses at her. She was a very broken woman who needed help, not prison, and yes, the public opinion was that she should have received a more retributive sentence, but to put some perspective on the case, the type of people that need to be sentenced retributive, are those like Larry Nassar (if you've been following the recent news about USA Gymnastics you'll know, if not, very briefly he was the USA Olympic Team doctor who was also serial offender of sexual assault on women aged around 6-19 over 15 years but was called out by a woman called Rachael Denhollander, one of his victims, he ended up getting 175 years in prison). In comparison with Woodward's case, I think it's safe to say that the justice she received now means that there was one fewer person in our prisons, wasting £180 a day for the relatively minor crime.
I'm also willing to bet that there are many people in the comments of the newspaper articles (Particularly the Daily Mail and The Sun because those are the paper s that try and get an outraged reaction from its readers) have never studied law or the legal system in their lives. I haven't studied law myself, I'm going to university (hopefully) next year to do so, but for this EPQ I'm writing, I have had to research the judiciary system like you would not believe.
I believe with this case, the judge should have phrased it better so that the media wouldn't misinterpret him and it wouldn't have lead to all the angry comments I'm reading on this thread, but let me ask you this. If you had just come out of a very abusive relationship during which you had become addicted to class A drugs and one night you stab a friend or a boy/girl friend or a family member giving them fairly minor injuries, would you want to stay out of prison to "continue your counselling and rehabilitation" or would you want to be sent to prison where there is blood on the floor and the food is awful and you get one stainless steel basin and a toilet and a bed and that's it? That for 10 months?
In answer to the original question, I think she should have taken her suspended sentence and gone away silently, thankful that she was being given the opportunity to improve herself.
0
X
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

What are you most likely to do if you don't get the grades you were expecting?

Go through Clearing (55)
40.74%
Take autumn exams (49)
36.3%
Look for a job (3)
2.22%
Consider an apprenticeship (4)
2.96%
Take a year out (16)
11.85%
Something else (let us know in the thread!) (8)
5.93%

Watched Threads

View All
Latest
My Feed