11/04/2012 09:49 BST | Updated 11/04/2012 09:51 BST

Woman Jailed For Stabbing Accepts Her Victim's Marriage Proposal

A man who forgave his partner for nearly killing him received bittersweet news on Wednesday - when she accepted his marriage proposal shortly after being jailed for three years.

Tiffany Baillie was charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent after plunging a knife into Gregory Todd's back.

The 48-year-old chef bought a white gold diamond solitaire engagement ring to court for sentencing on Wednesday, in the hope a judge would let her walk free, but she received a three year sentence at Hull Crown Court.

Todd had written to the judge pleading with him to not to send Baillie to prison, but after the ruling said he understood why a judge had no choice but to jail her.

He also said he had forgiven Baillie, 32, for stabbing him with a "substantial" knife, seriously injuring him.

Outside court, Todd said: "I think he (the judge) was very fair. I'm not completely happy with the result but I think he was as lenient as he could be."

Asked what he said to the judge in his letter, he said: "That myself and Tiffany could walk out of the court and get married and that we wouldn't let him down and she could be with her son and we could get on with our lives."

Todd showed reporters the engagement ring, which was in a green box.

He said: "The barrister took the ring because the judge wouldn't let me go down to her. She tried it on and it fits."

He added that he was now fully recovered after spending three months in hospital following the attack. Emergency surgery saved his life. He said he was hoping Baillie would be out in little more than a year.

Todd said he has visited her in prison five times during the 128 days she had been on remand - and he said he would continue to go to see her as often as possible.

He said: "It was totally out of character and I don't know what else to do. I just want to be with Tiffany. That's all I can say."

Above: the wedding ring

Judge Michael Mettyear earlier told Baillie - who stood shaking in the dock throughout the short hearing - how a case like this would normally attract a prison sentence with a starting point in the nine to 16-year range.

He heard how she plunged a kitchen knife into Todd's back as he was probably asleep on a bed at their flat in Trinity Court, Hessle, Hull, on December 4, last year.

He heard how the pair had returned to the flat after a night out drinking.

Judge Mettyear said: "You armed yourself with a substantial kitchen knife and stabbed him with it in the back. It was a forceful blow with substantial penetration of his body."

Todd suffered serious injuries including damage to his colon, a kidney and his pancreas.

The judge said: "What you did could have killed him or caused long-term serious injury."

Baillie, who is also a chef and has a 12-year-old son, admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent at a previous hearing.

On Wednesday the judge said he was giving Baillie more credit than normal for the mitigation provided by Todd's total forgiveness.

He said: "Your victim has completely forgiven you. He has visited you in prison and has written to me stating in detail his view of you and what should happen to you.

"He's written a letter which has been put before me today."

Judge Mettyear read part of Todd's latest letter to the court: "She made a huge mistake she will regret for the rest of her life. Please allow me to present her with the ring and leave this courtroom today to continue with our lives. I promise I will not let you down."