Isn’t this just amazing?

The Lavinia Woodward case exposes equality before the law as a myth
Afua Hirsch

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?

23 thoughts on “Isn’t this just amazing?”

  1. @Henry Crun

    I read and take on board all of what’s in that link.

    And yet,

    And yet,

    Reverse the sexes, have exactly the same facts and I think the guy would have gone to prison. Or there would have been howls from the media and pressure groups that would have drowned the current murmurs.

    Or what JuliaM said. #pussypass

  2. The Secret Barrister article covers it.

    She is unlikely to ever do it again and is working to shed her bad habits. That seems for real rather than lawyers bullshit being said about an incorrigible.

    In this case the Judge was right. A stopped clock job likely.

  3. She was certainly favoured by the judge, and I am completely certain that a black male in exactly the same circumstances would now be in prison. In fact a white male would be too, which is the disparity the author of the column somehow doesn’t address.

    This made me laugh:

    Lawyers like this are, after years of austerity, becoming a luxury for those who can afford to pay privately

    Lol. In the days before the Tory Apocalypse top criminal lawyers were available to all free from the State.

    And a general point – why is being drunk an aggravating factor, but having a drink problem is a mitigating factor?

  4. From the article, why is it a mitigating factor for her that she was allegedly in an abusive previous relationship? Why does that mitigate her stabbing the man she was seeing at the time?

  5. I can live with her escaping prison, but am somewhat worried that at some point in the future the psychotic coke-addled bint might be operating on me….

  6. Julia–True but she has zero record of priors.

    It is a cliché but even decent people can mess up once in a while. If she’d stabbed sober that is different but she was mega-pissed. A serious determined attempt to stab is not the same as some pissed daft cow taking a swing that hits his hand and leg-a very glancing (and thus not a serious-in-the-sense-of-determined-to-harm) blow.

    In this case there is a chance she WILL straighten up and fly right. Second offence–sure, throw the book. But I would have given the silly cow a second chance.

    Even I have a small degree of mercy.

    Unwise to count on it tho’.

  7. Presumably the real reason women tend to get off lightly is because they plead that their kids need their mother around? (Whether having a criminal for a mother is any better for the kids than foster care, I don’t know; but it would certainly be cheaper.)

  8. Letting her off prison seems to presume that she will get a places on training courses to become a doctor. The selection process for these courses will likely reject this candidate.

  9. Alex, not if she chooses a speciality which nobody wants to apply for (such as A&E) or the government doubles the number of GP training posts.

    However, you are probably right that she will find it hard to get into surgery with a criminal conviction, unless she is manages to graduate at the top of her cohort and takes part in several international conferences (that’s one of the criteria for selection).

  10. What no-one seems to be pointing out is that hardly anyone gets sent to prison for such non-major offenses these days. Black, white, male, female, unless you’ve murdered someone, or said something vaguely racist, they’ll find every way to keep you out. And even with murder they’ll let you out after a few years. So a woman with no previous was never going to go to jail for a lower-level, non-lethal knife attack. She would have needed about seventy priors to get sent to jail for that.

    The idea that the ‘working-class’ get treated more leniantly than the middle-class is ridiculous, given that last few decades has been so marked by the extreme reluctance of the court to send persistent offenders, who are mostly from the ‘working-classes’, to jail.

    I agree, though, that women generally get treated more leniantly than men.

    As for her future, I think there’s a good chance that she will do something crazy within the next ten years.

  11. It is possible for it to be a one-off. When I was on taxi licensing we had one chap who’d been recklessly stupid in his teens, which resulting in a declarable-for-taxi-licensing record. It just meant that for 40 years his renewal application always had to be refered to committee which went: Hi Mr X, still ok? Ok, wait outside. Renewal? Yes. Ok, bring him back in. Ok Mr X, here’s another three years.

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