A university student branded ‘too clever for jail’ may be allowed to resume studies at Oxford because she ‘could win the Nobel Prize’ one day.
Lavinia Woodward stabbed boyfriend Thomas Fairclough in the leg with a breadknife and hurled a laptop, glass and jam jar at him in a cocaine-fueled rage.
The 24-year-old medical student escaped jail and was handed at 10 month sentence, suspended for 18 months, after admitting a charge of unlawfully wounding Mr Fairclough.
But Woodward has now voluntarily suspended her studies for the length of the sentence – meaning a panel would have to wait until 2019 before making a decision on whether to expel her.
Disciplinary procedures at the university mean the Medical faculty and Proctor’s office can’t reach a ruling until then.
And an unnamed friend has told the Telegraph: ‘Woodward is so highly thought of within academic circles that she has been described as a ‘future Nobel Prize winner’.
The anonymous 24-year-old added: ‘She has the backing of a number of senior figures at Christ Church [college]. I think they would be happy to have her back, and that she will end up returning quietly.’
It had been thought Woodward would leave the university voluntarily because she was scared she would be recognised after the trial.
A court heard Lavinia had been having sex with student Thomas Fairclough earlier in the evening, before she flipped in a cocaine-fuelled rage.
The student at Oxford’s Christ Church college had been due to be sentenced earlier this year but the judge gave her four months to prove herself and stay out of trouble.
He said medical student Woodward was an ‘extraordinary able young lady’ – and a spell in jail would ruin her dream of becoming a heart surgeon.
At the sentencing hearing he added: ‘While you are a highly intelligent individual, you had an immaturity which is not commensurate for someone of your age.’
Judge Pringle said Woodward had made a determined effort to rid herself of drug and alcohol addictions.
The judge’s leniency infuriated justice campaigners, who said offenders from less privileged backgrounds were regularly locked up for similar attacks.