The Lavinia Woodward case exposes equality before the law as a myth
The leniency shown by the courts to a “promising” Oxford graduate reveals the social and racial inequality at the core of our justice system
White bird doesn’t get jugged for stabbing boyfriend because she’s a white, privileged, bird.
Hmm. Actually, this isn’t unusual:
The type of sentence outcome given at court differs between male and female
offenders and has also changed over time, due largely to the greater use of SSOs
since 2005 when they became more readily available under the Criminal Justice Act
2003. As with the wider trend for all indictable offences (highlighted in the
defendants’ chapter) there was also a decline in the proportion of community
sentences over the time period.
The most common disposal given to male offenders across each of the four specified
violence offences is now an immediate custodial sentence, with the proportion
increasing over the last ten years for ABH and remaining stable for the other
offences. By contrast the type of sentence outcome given to female offenders has
differed for each of these four offences. In 2013, the most common disposal given for
the offences of ABH and cruelty to or neglect of children was a community sentence,
whilst for GBH without intent it was a SSO and for breach of a restraining order it
came under the otherwise dealt with category.
Across each of these four offences, male offenders were around twice as likely to be
given an immediate custodial sentence than female offenders. By contrast, a greater
proportion of female offenders received less severe sentence outcomes.
Quite possibly privilege then but perhaps not the one being complained about?