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Livinia Woodward allowed back to uni?

(22 Posts)
drinkswineoutofamug Sun 22-Oct-17 12:32:33

How? How can this woman who stabbed her ‘date’ in the leg , with a bread knife, while high on cocaine. Be allowed back into university? To maybe carry on practicing medicine. Surely this was domestic violence?
How will she pass a DBS to get a job?
My daughter wasn’t allowed at college to do hairdressing due to her conviction, so I find this mind boggling.
Is it because she comes from a good family, upper class?

peteneras Sun 22-Oct-17 13:18:52

It hasn't been decided yet by the university whether she'd be allowed back. Meanwhile, she's suspended herself temporarily so as to buy more time for herself and a better chance to be readmitted later. But I think they will have her back . . .

BubblesBuddy Tue 24-Oct-17 16:52:17

She wants to be a surgeon apparently. Took cocaine and stabbed someone. I think we could do without doctors like this. It is definitely not acceptable for her to continue in this career at the moment. Maybe after a few years......?

artisancraftbeer Tue 24-Oct-17 16:56:46

She is currently suspended. The college will have to decide whether to allow her back when she wants to end that suspension. If the college takes her back, it doesn’t mean she’ll be able to practice as a doctor.

Nickynackynoodle Tue 24-Oct-17 16:59:47

You don't pass or fail a DBS check OP; they are a way of giving an employer information about you that they can then use to assess your suitability for employment.

reallybadidea Tue 24-Oct-17 17:00:30

Maybe she'll be allowed to come back on a different course.

WitchesHatRim Tue 24-Oct-17 17:01:46

Personally I don't think someone who stabbed someone whilst high on cocaine should be a Dr.

Nightmanagerfan Tue 24-Oct-17 17:02:33

I listened to a really interesting discussion about this case on Wonen’s Hour with a top lawyer (I think a QC) and she said that in this case justice had been done and the media had focused on certain aspects of the case without seeing the whole picture. She was suffering from some mental illness at the time of the stabbing and her partner didn’t want her to be charged - he wanted her to get help.

I agree that I am still unsure if she should be allowed to be a doctor, but it seems this has been given a lot of spin by the media.

Nightmanagerfan Tue 24-Oct-17 17:03:45

Here’s the episode in case of interest: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b095ptpn

Dumbledore345 Tue 24-Oct-17 17:09:17

Should a young adult who makes a stupid mistake be punished for the rest of their lives? I think the answer is probably not - and there were a number of extenuating factors in this case.

But would a young black man not at university who had stabbed his girlfriend in similar circumstances have been extended the same level of understanding? I suspect the answer is no.

And that is what is wrong with our society.

McTufty Tue 24-Oct-17 17:10:22

Secret Barrister was great on this case, analysing sentencing guidelines and concluding that there was nothing unusual in this sentence. However the press love to stir rings up and suggest she was treated differently because she is white and middle class.

I am unsure whether she should be a doctor in the future. What she did was truly dreadful. Equally, where offenders (from ANY background) show genuine remorse and demonstrate they are rehabilitating themselves, as a society we should support that.

prh47bridge Tue 24-Oct-17 18:13:06

But would a young black man not at university who had stabbed his girlfriend in similar circumstances have been extended the same level of understanding? I suspect the answer is no.

You suspect wrong. The sentence was absolutely in line with sentencing guidelines. She didn't get any special consideration for being rich, white, female or at university. Given the facts of the case it was a perfectly normal sentence. But when a non-photogenic young black man gets a suspended sentence in similar circumstances it tends not to attract media coverage.

sinceyouask Tue 24-Oct-17 18:18:37

Prh47 do you want to link us to some cases where a non rich, non white, non female, non student stabbed someone whilst under the influence of illegal drugs and was similarly sentenced? I think we'd all be better able to believe she wasn't treated differently due to being a rich, white female university student if we could see those cases, tbh.

McTufty Tue 24-Oct-17 18:29:59

@sinceyouask it would have to be a non white non female non student with a mental illness who was themselves a victim of domestic abuse.

But as I said above, sentencing happens in accordance with sentencing guidelines. I have told you about a criminal Barrister who has demonstrated she was sentenced in accordance with these. So I would like to see some genuinely comparable cases where a working class man was sentenced more harshly before I jump on the “they only let her off because she’s rich” bandwagon.

sinceyouask Tue 24-Oct-17 20:05:30

"It seems to me that if this was a one-off, a complete one-off, to prevent this extraordinary 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,” he said.

“What you did will never, I know, leave you, but it was pretty awful, and normally it would attract a custodial sentence, whether it is immediate or suspended."

But now it's excusable as she has EUPD and an eating disorder? And despite the judge's earlier words, we are to believe that the fact she is a priveleged white woman has nothing to do with her sentence? Sorry, I don't buy it. The courts sentence women with mental health issues, addiction problems and histories of abuse all the time, handing down far more severe sentences for far less appalling crimes. It's disgusting to pretend the sentence Lavinia Woodward got is the sentence a young black man from an underpriveleged background who had experienced abuse, was diagnosed with a mental health issue and was addicted to and high on cocaine would get for stabbing his girlfriend.

artisancraftbeer Tue 24-Oct-17 21:04:26

As the sentence is in accordance with the sentencing guidelines, which are readily available online if you want to check, anyone else in similar circumstances could have a similar sentence whatever their background and race.

prh47bridge Tue 24-Oct-17 22:14:55

An exact match would be difficult but here are a few people given suspended sentences for unlawful wounding...

www.edp24.co.uk/news/crime/cromer-woman-susan-lines-55-given-suspended-sentence-for-unlawful-wounding-after-victim-makes-plea-for-leniency-and-says-she-is-his-true-love-1-5008712

www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/supermarket-worker-given-suspended-sentence-9834153

www.examiner.co.uk/news/west-yorkshire-news/suspended-jail-sentence-holmfirth-bottle-9836093

www.bedfordshire-news.co.uk/houghton-regis-drunk-given-suspended-sentence-for-vicious-glass-attack/story-29808928-detail/story.html

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/local-news/widnes-man-who-bit-victims-11213727

normally it would attract a custodial sentence, whether it is immediate or suspended

It did. She was sentenced to 10 months suspended for 18 months.

It's disgusting to pretend the sentence Lavinia Woodward got is the sentence a young black man from an underpriveleged background who had experienced abuse, was diagnosed with a mental health issue and was addicted to and high on cocaine would get for stabbing his girlfriend.

I'm not pretending. The injuries inflicted were fairly minor in the context of this particular offence. If she had been a young black man from an underprivileged background and all other facts were the same, including pleading guilty at the first opportunity, she would probably have got the same sentence. That is a fact.

The offence was unlawful wounding. The judge decided this was a category 2 offence - the injuries inflicted were not serious enough to put this into category 1 but the use of a weapon means it can't go into category 3. Under the sentencing guidelines that judges have to follow, that gives us a sentencing range of 1-3 years with a starting point of 18 months. There is one aggravating factor present (use of a weapon) but quite a few mitigating factors (no previous convictions, remorse, steps taken to address addiction (the judge delayed sentencing to make sure this was genuinely happening) and so on) so we'll come down a bit from the starting point to 15 months (judges like sentences that can be divided by 3 easily - the reason is obvious when we get to the next step). She pleaded guilty at the earliest stage possible so that gets a one third reduction bringing us down to 10 months. With a sentence of that level we have to think about suspending it. None of the factors pointing to immediate custody are present whereas at least two of the factors pointing to suspending the sentence are, so it gets suspended. Absolutely bog standard sentencing decision. Given that she pleaded guilty, it would have been surprising if she got anything other than a suspended sentence. If she had pleaded not guilty it would be a different matter - she would have gone to prison immediately.

prh47bridge Wed 25-Oct-17 10:44:38

Minor correction to my last post - the aggravating factor was that she was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the offence, not the use of a weapon. The fact she used a knife meant that it was a category 2 offence which determines the starting point for sentencing. It doesn't come into play again when looking at aggravating and mitigating factors.

If I'd been asked prior to sentencing I would have predicted 8-12 months, probably suspended.

peteneras Thu 26-Oct-17 00:46:46

By doing such a stupid thing at the spur of the moment (I'm convinced of that) she not only put herself in great trouble but has also inadvertently created some monumental future problems for two revered and world renowned organisations, namely, Oxford University and the General Medical Council - assuming she decides to continue with her intentions of becoming a doctor.

1) Oxford University would have to justify for itself (easier) and to the general public (much harder) why she's allowed back to continue with her studies. It's a no-win situation whichever decision it takes - allowing her back would be seen as having a double standard; refusing her would be seen as a snub to the judge.

2) GMC - Their problems could even be worse than Oxford's. By knowingly registering someone with a serious criminal conviction and giving them a licence to practise goes against every DNA in its 'body' - something the organisation is very, very hot in emphasising right from the onset. The GMC has been known for derigistering doctors for doing much less. What, for example, if in the long decades ahead, she as a registered doctor/surgeon goes on to commit another serious criminal offence this time resulting in some fatalities? Is this individual really of the calibre to hold a 'Fitness to Practise' certificate? Again, due regards would have to be given to the judge's summing up and final judgement.

Difficult decisions ahead no doubt. Thank you very much, Ms Livinia Woodward!

flyingpigsinclover Thu 26-Oct-17 00:49:50

would you want her to be your doctor?

prh47bridge Thu 26-Oct-17 11:45:24

The judge's feelings will not be a factor in the university's decision. They can refuse to take her back if they want. The judge has no say in the matter.

Giving someone with a serious criminal conviction a licence to practise does not go against every DNA in the GMC's body. There are around 1,000 doctors with criminal convictions who continue to practise, including a small number with convictions for ABH or GBH, both of which are more serious offences than unlawful wounding. The GMC may impose restrictions on doctors with convictions but there is no blanket ban.

would you want her to be your doctor?

Provided she is good at her job and has addressed her drug and alcohol addictions I wouldn't have any problem with having her as my doctor. I would have a problem if she doesn't deal with her addictions.

She was heavily under the influence of alcohol at the time of the offence. She struck out at her boyfriend because he was trying to get her to stop. She then tried to injure herself with the knife and had to be restrained. There is nothing in this incident that suggests she is a danger to anyone when she is not extremely drunk. As long as she remains sober whilst working there is no reason to believe she would be a danger to patients.

I accept that some people won't want her as their doctor. But I prefer to rehabilitate people wherever possible so, speaking personally, as long as she deals with her addictions I would have no problems being treated by her.

reallyanotherone Thu 26-Oct-17 11:52:44

Ime, once you’re admitted to medical school, it is very, very hard to get thrown off.

I went to uni with people who failed years spectacularly, developed drug habits to the point of stealing from controlled drug cabinets, alcoholics, you name it.

All are now practicing dr’s. They were usually held back a year and told to get “help” but all were allowed to continue. So it would not suprise me in the slightest.

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