A “brilliant” and “pretty” female Oxford University student who stabbed her boyfriend with a bread knife, punched him in the face, and threw a laptop, glass, and jar at him will almost certainly be spared jail. So says Oxford Crown Court Judge Ian Pringle, whose comments about Lavinia Woodward read more like a positive character reference from a family member than a ruling on a serious crime. Judge Pringle claimed that jailing Woodward would unfairly destroy her aspiration of becoming a heart surgeon.
Woodward, a medical student, often lives in Milan with her mother, who owns a luxurious villa. Her father is a senior oil company executive who sent her to the Sir James Henderson British School of Milan, where fees cost upwards of £16,000 (US$20,000) each year. Judge Pringle moved Woodward’s sentencing to September and allowed her the opportunity to seek treatment for a chronic drug problem.
Of any case you will probably ever see, this is the perfect intersection of a pussy pass and completely different standards being applied to the children of the extremely wealthy. Woodward has already been given a number of chances rarely given to others, especially in relation to her consumption of hard drugs. The Telegraph reports, extraordinarily, that prior to attacking her boyfriend she “had been required to submit to regular drug testing” by Christ Church College at Oxford and been “threatened” with expulsion for any further drug-taking. Oxford Crown Court has also demanded that she stay drug-free as part of a restraining order protecting her male victim.
She consumed an obscene amount of cocaine…
— A former friend of Lavinia Woodward, quoted by The Daily Mail
Firstly, how can a drug addict study medicine, let alone become a doctor? There is a reason why we entrust tasks to doctors, lawyers, and engineers that are often illegal when performed by others. A run-of-the-mill doctor often has the life of his or her patient in their hands and this is even more true with a specialist like a heart surgeon.
Lavinia Woodward’s history of drug abuse, which is being used in her defense, should immediately disqualify her from the practice of medicine in all its forms. Not only is the consumption of drugs a crime that would get anyone else in trouble, it raises serious concerns about Woodward’s mental stability now and her potential for using drugs again.
Plus, the vast majority of people in England or similar countries, more than 99%, come from far less prosperous families than hers. If we are going to have discussions about sympathy and leniency for drug addicts, these discussions need to benefit the truly needy and indigent. I am far more inclined to think that a drug addict whose family lacks the money for proper rehabilitation needs a helping hand, not a girl whose life consists of jetting between a villa in Milan and Oxford University’s most socially prestigious college, Christ Church.
Lavinia Woodward’s defense team claimed that the poor toiler at Oxford has had a “very troubled life” and was “abused” by an ex-boyfriend. Short of her producing evidence of this so-called abuse, or citing a criminal conviction against her former partner (which is very easy to get in today’s anti-male world), belief in Woodward’s story would be a textbook example of gullibility. Still, “listen and believe” probably won’t stop a sentencing judge from feeling sorry for this woman.
The issue of her “troubled” life is similarly underwhelming. For example, about an eighth or more of people living in the United Kingdom and United States fall below the poverty line. It is much easier for individuals in these circumstances to prove that their life or background impacted on their commission of a criminal offense. But they are rarely given the time of day and jail populations are typically dominated by people from the working or middling classes.
We should consider Oxford University’s ambivalence about expelling Lavinia Woodward as part of higher education’s obsession with promoting women in STEM and related fields like medicine. After the furor about her really erupted in mid-May, speculation that she would be expelled increased. Only a few days ago, however, only potential expulsion was still being discussed.
This is a woman who has been found guilty by a court of a serious domestic violence offense, complete with irrefutable proof of physical injury and property destruction. Meanwhile, countless men, almost always from far poorer backgrounds than Lavinia Woodward, have been expelled from colleges in the United States and elsewhere for “rape” sans any objective evidence, all without even being charged. Others, like the former student president of the Oxford University Union, Ben Sullivan, have been hounded and defamed on campus over rape allegations that are provably false.
But it is the humble male readers of sites like Return Of Kings, especially the white Anglo-Saxon ones, who are supposedly the only depositories of privilege in our world. Go figure.