Knife attacker accepts court wedding proposal from victim
PUBLISHED April 11, 2012
Todd, 48, left Hull Crown Court in tears today despite hearing his girlfriend had said: "Yes!" to his court room marriage proposal.
Mr Todd almost died when Baillie, 32, plunged an 8in kitchen knife into his back as he slept.
But he appeared at Hull Crown Court last week with a white gold diamond solitaire ring with the intention of proposing in court in an act of Easter forgiveness.
He had to wait 24 hours to be told the marriage proposal, relayed by her barrister, had been accepted in a tearful telephone call from Newhall Prison to his home in Hessle which they shared.
Baillie, 32, who had been depressed after a miscarriage has been forgiven by Mr Todd who spent three months in hospital recovering from a damaged pancreas and spleen after she attacked him two weeks after losing his baby.
Speaking outside court Mr Todd said: "I hoped to give her the ring today, if she had got a suspended sentence. I asked the judge if I could give it to her in court, but he said no. The barrister took the ring to the cells and she tried it on. It fits. Now I have got the ring back but no Tiffany."
Mr Todd had written an emotional letter to the judge which Judge Mettyear read out.
He said: "She has made a big mistake that she will regret for the rest of her life. Please show compassion and allow her to prove what a valuable member of society she is and a mother to her son. She will have a husband, if you allow us to marry. I promise we won't let you down."
Judge Michael Mettyear who heard of the proposal last Thursday in Hull Crown Court had adjourned the sentencing hearing to consider what weight he could give to the victims appeal for mercy.
Baillie had admitted GBH with intent after denying attempted murder.
Today, dressed in a pink cardigan, and blue shirt she wept in court and clutched a cross around her neck.
Baillie had told Mr Todd she would marry him on Friday in a telephone call from Newhall Prison where he has visited her five times since the stabbing on December 4.
Judge Mettyear said: "You must realise what you did could have killed him or caused him long-term serious injury. I will sentence you on the basis he has fully recovered or nearly recovered from the attack. The offence was aggravated by the use of a knife and the fact he was asleep at the time of the stabbing."
He said the use of drink that night was not mitigation. He continued: "A person who goes out and gets drunk is still fully responsible for the consequences of their actions. Having said that there are mitigating features. You are a person of good character. There has been an admission of remorse I accept that you pleaded guilty at the first opportunity. I also accept that you are a carer of a 12 year old son and imprisonment will have an effect on him."
He said he had to balance those features with the serious nature of the stabbing and had come to the conclusion prison was inevitable.
He said he had discounted the 12 year starting point to nine years and given her credit for a guilty plea to bring it to six years. He said the difficult part was deciding what credit he could give for her victim's views.
He said "In cases as serious as this it is not usually a mitigating feature. Your victim has completely forgiven you and visited you in prison. Her has written to me and stated his view about what should happen to you.The wishes of a victim cannot decide what a judge should do. I cannot possibly go as far as Gregory Todd would like, but will take on board his views in my sentence."
Ms Baillie visibly rocked on her heels and wept as he jailed her for three years less the 128 days she has served. It means she could be released in just over a year.
Mr Todd said: "I will wait for her. If it is right that she will come out in a year that means 52 more visits. We will get married then. Tiffany is a wreck in prison. I think the most important thing is she comes home. She has a son Jordon waiting for her. It is his birthday on Friday.
"She has paid for him soccer coaching at the Hull City KC stadium. It would have been nice if he had given her a suspended sentence. A few years ago, it would have been domestic violence. I would not have pressed charges and nothing would have come of it. Now things have changed. I said it all in my letter to the judge. I don't know what I'm going to say to her when I see her next in prison. I have put the incident behind me. I am not going to hold a grudge. You cannot change anything."