'Too bright' for jail: UK medical student avoids prison for stabbing boyfriend

A promising Oxford University medical student has avoided jail for the time-being, despite earlier this year being found guilty of stabbing her boyfriend with a bread knife.

Twenty-four-year-old aspiring surgeon Lavinia Woodward has been handed a 10-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months for the assault, which took place during a drug-fuelled fight at her university campus of Christ Church College.

Woodward, who met her Cambridge University student boyfriend on dating app Tinder, admitted to plunging a knife into her boyfriend's leg back in May.

Woodward's case was controversially looked upon with sympathy by judge Ian Pringle QC, who deferred her sentencing date by four months after remarking how bright she was and how much promise she had in her chosen subject of study.

"It seems to me that if this was a one-off, a complete one-off.

"To prevent this extraordinarily able young lady from not following her long-held desire to enter the profession she wishes to would be a sentence which would be too severe," Justice Pringle said at the time.

He added that such a violent attack would normally attract a custodial sentence, but on Monday (local time) said there were a number of mitigating features that resulted in the sentence being more lenient.

He said Woodward's lack of maturity, lack of a criminal record and the genuine remorse she showed all contributed to his sentencing decision. He also noted that she had a personality disorder, a severe eating disorder, and was dependent on drugs and alcohol.

In May, Judge Pringle said Woodward should be allowed to return to Christ Church College in October because she is "bright" and has had articles published in medical journals.

However Oxford University expressed some reluctance to that idea, saying there was no guarantee of return and that it would look into her case after the court proceedings had finished.