CLIVE SMITH: Who you are shouldn't make any difference to sentence

The good old British justice system looks like yet again it's going to serve the interests of the guilty rather than the victim.

Tuesday, 23rd May 2017, 9:07 am
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 8:56 pm
Ian Brady

Oxford University medical student Lavinia Woodward, 24, stabbed her boyfriend in the leg with a bread knife after taking cocaine.

Oxford Crown Court heard how Woodward had met the Cambridge PhD student on the Tinder dating website.

During a row in September last year she punched him in the face, slashed him with a knife and hurled a laptop, a glass and a jam jar at him.

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As dates go, it was hardly Mills & Boon, was it?

But Judge Ian Pringle, in all his wisdom, said the aspiring heart surgeon’s future career prospects could be damaged by a custodial sentence and that he was minded to take an ‘exceptional course’ when she is sentenced later this year.

That can only mean one thing – that she might avoid prison.

The judge reportedly said: ‘To prevent this extraordinary, able young lady from following her long-held desire to enter the profession she wishes to would be too severe.’


She stabs someone, but should be spared jail time because of what she wants to do for a job (which, by the way, presumably includes ready access to all manner of sharp instruments).

It has been reported that Woodward had already been warned about drug-taking by her college and had been told she would be expelled if there were any further incidents.

It shouldn’t matter if she’s a brainy Oxford student or Joanna Bloggs from down the road who works in a factory, the corner shop or collects her giro on a Tuesday.

She stabbed someone, she should go to prison. End of story.

Anyway, I imagine performing life-saving operations is going to be a stressful job and her temperament hardly seems up to it if you ask me.

Having an education from Oxford University shouldn’t be a ‘get-out-of-jail-free’ card. All people should be equal in the eyes of the law. But it seems some are more equal than others.


So you’ve quietly got the key in the front door, negotiated the stairs – carefully avoiding the creaking ones – and are about to sneak into bed.

But just when you think you’re home and dry, you’re greeted with the familiar ‘what time do you call this?’

Well, a woman in China has taken things a step further and has installed a clocking-in machine for her dirty stop-out husband.

He reportedly gets docked £10 for every half-an-hour he’s late home, plus he has to do a whole weekend’s worth of chores!

Unfortunately the Mrs has got wind of this and has been spending time up in the loft with an old Meccano set.

Apparently the clocking-in machine for the Smith household is coming along very nicely.


The coroner dealing with the death of Ian Brady has said the body will not be released until there are assurances that the ashes will not be scattered on Saddleworth Moor, the area where his victim’s bodies were hidden.

Despite having no legal power to request this, in my opinion he is absolutely right to do it.

What an insult it would be to the relatives of these poor children if this vile monster’s final resting place was in the same area where his heinous crimes were committed.

In fact I don’t think he should be granted any sort of funeral whatsoever.

His body should just be cremated in private and the ashes flushed away.

He doesn’t deserve any kind of dignified send-off after what he did.