This student in question also felt compelled to report her to the police.
He asked not to disclose the chain of events that persuaded him to do so in case it identified him, other than to say Woodward's threats of violence against him left him genuinely in fear of her.
A CPS spokesman told paper: 'The judge agreed to leave the lesser charges on file after a discussion between defence and prosecution.'The plea to the more serious charge was acceptable to the prosecution.'During her court hearing, the judge was concerned, he said, that imprisonment could affect her career after hearing that her college might allow her to return in October, although the university stressed that 'no final decision has been reached'.'It seems to me that if this was a one-off, a complete one-off, to prevent this extraordinarily able young lady from following her long-held desire to enter the [medical] 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.'It was clearly not his intention, but his remarks created the impression that if Lavinia Woodward had been working on the checkout at Tesco, instead of being at Oxford with a glittering future ahead of her, she might have been sent to prison.
Everyone is equal before the law, in other words, but some in society, like Woodward, would seem more equal than others.
During a drink and drug-fuelled rage last September, she punched him and swiped at him with a bread knife, stabbed him in the leg then hurled a laptop at him, followed by a glass and a jam jar.'Pretty awful,' is how the judge, Ian Pringle, QC, described those events.
The offence, to which she pleaded guilty, would normally mean a custodial term, he said, but he delayed sentencing for four months and hinted Woodward would not be jailed, giving her time to prove she was conquering her cocaine habit. But his reasons for showing compassion to a clearly troubled young woman have caused much controversy.
Surely, there can't be many undergraduates, male or female, at any university, let alone Oxford, who could induce such trepidation among their peers.
And it seems clear from their testimonies that Lavinia Woodward's knife attack on Mr Fairclough at Christ Church last September was the culmination of a pattern of behaviour by a deeply unstable young woman who had a 'very short fuse', to quote someone who got on the wrong side of her. 'It was the beginning of an exceptional academic career.
Woodward had met a young Cambridge graduate on an online dating site.Many commentators have expressed such a view on radio and TV and in the Press over the past few days.Not surprisingly, the case also provoked a furious backlash on social media.In Oxford, one 'revelation' has been greeted with incredulity: the suggestion that the offence which landed her in court was 'a one-off'.Woodward may not have previous convictions for violence, but she has been involved in a string of disturbing incidents at university.A witness who knew the victim takes up the story.'She called her horrible names like slut, bimbo and traitor. She [Woodward] then began lashing out at her, slapping her and trying to shove her head against a gatepost.'My friend was very, very shook up.She lived in the same university block as Lavinia Woodward so she wrote to the college authorities and they moved her almost immediately.'The Proctors' Office at Oxford, which investigates students' complaints, were aware of 'lots of people' who had problems with Woodward, according to someone else who fell foul of her.One girl who did get to know Woodward thought she was 'very cool' and likeable, to begin with. 'She insisted she didn't have a problem, that it was just 'recreational'.'But she would often just leave the room then return and behave manically.Sometimes she would start taking cocaine at 10am just to get her through the day.'A number of 'really unpleasant people' regularly came to see her at Christ Church, including one man who wore a gold chain around his neck and a dark hoodie.One of her most recent Facebook pictures has Lavinia Woodward posing demurely next to a famous quotation by Coco Chanel: 'A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.'It helps if you have rich parents. How many students, after all — even in the 'dreaming spires' of Oxford where the 24-year-old is studying medicine — turn up to lectures with a Chanel handbag slung over their shoulder?The minimum price of such an accessory, incidentally, is around £1,000.