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Student Lavinia Woodward who knifed boyfriend could be allowed back to Oxford

By Lucy Pasha-Robinson

An Oxford University student who was spared jail after stabbing her boyfriend may be allowed to return to her studies.

Medical student Lavinia Woodward (24) attacked her ex with a bread knife at her university accommodation at Christ Church College.

The offence would normally carry a custodial sentence, but Judge Ian Pringle QC handed down a 10-month suspended sentence in September, saying: "You are a clearly highly intelligent individual, you had an immaturity about you which was not commensurate for someone of your age."

Now it has emerged she will be allowed to suspend her studies for 18 months at one of the university's richest colleges, thereby delaying any disciplinary hearing against her. A staff panel will only be able to consider whether she should be expelled once she states her desire to return. Christ Church revealed in May that it warned Woodward that "any more drug-taking, or misconduct of any other kind, would indeed result in expulsion" after it was discovered she had been taking cocaine last September.

Reports that Woodward might be able to return to her studies were dismissed by the university at the time, which told The Sunday Times the comments "were the judge's not the college's".

Martyn Percy, dean of Christ Church, told The Sunday Times: "I do not think (Woodward) is getting special treatment."

Woodward's lawyers said: "The disciplinary process at Oxford is for the proctors. In due course that process will no doubt be concluded."

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