A budding heart surgeon studying at Oxford University, Lavinia Woodward, who knifed her boyfriend during a violent row could avoid jail because of her “extraordinary” talent, a judge has said.

Oxford Crown Court Judge Ian Pringle said that a custodial sentence, which would normally be meted out for such a crime, would prevent Lavinia Woodward from embarking on her chosen career – a sentence, which he said was, “too severe”.

It was stated at the court, where the 24-year-old admitted to a charge of unlawful wounding, that she met her victim on Tinder before she launched into her attack on 30 September.

The judge heard how she punched the man and swiped at him with a bread knife after drinking and taking drugs. She then threw a laptop, glass and jam jar at him during the attack on September 30, 2016, the court heard.

This young woman who met her victim on the internet, lured him to her domain and tried to kill him looks more like a budding serial killer to me than budding heart surgeon, so when the Judge says punishing her would prevent her from embarking on her chosen career, that only makes me wonder what career he’s talking about.

This story is much like the story, in 2013, of the teen in Texas who was spared jail time after killing four people in a drunken driving car crash because he was too rich to be responsible for his actions. For most people, conviction for vehicular manslaughter due to drunk driving warrants a lengthy sentence, but not in the case of Ethan Couch, a wealthy young man from the state of Texas.

Ethan Couch and his victims.

Couch suffers from “affluenza,” according to his lawyers, a term which means that his wealthy parents pretty much let him get away with everything. The defense saved him from a 20-year sentence; State District Judge Jean Boyd bought it at his sentencing on and gave Couch probation instead.

In the two cases sited above, the culprits escaped judgement because they were adjudged to be above normal humans; one because of her “extraordinary” talent and the other because of his wealth. Does this mean that everyone is not equal before the law, after all?

In these two cases, anyone who wasn’t adjudged to have “extraordinary” talent, whatever that means, or have very rich parents, would have gone to jail for the full terms dictated by the law for their crime, but these two privileged people got away free.

Maybe it’s time to change that part of the law that says everyone is equal with the quote from George Orwell’s Animal Farm that “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”

That’s a better description of what truly obtains.

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