A MAN went to court to pop the question to the girl who stabbed him in the back, nearly killing him.
Gregory Todd was hoping his girlfriend Tiffany Baillie would be given a suspended sentence after serving months on remand in prison following the stabbing last December.
He took a white gold and diamond engagement ring to Hull Crown Court, planning to take her to one side and ask her to marry him.
But instead the 32-year-old was warned she could have to serve up to 12 years in prison.
Mr Todd, 48, spent three months in hospital and had to have five operations to repair internal organs damaged after being stabbed with the eight-inch kitchen knife, while he was asleep at their flat in Hessle, near Hull, last December.
He said he had been planning to propose on Baillie’s birthday on December 29, but she had become depressed with the approach to the anniversary of the death of her baby son, who was only a few weeks old. The stabbing happened after they had been out for drinks.
He said: “If someone I didn’t know had stabbed me I would throw away the key, but I lived with her and she had never done anything anywhere near anything like that.
“She was a placid person who looked after me and her son. She was depressed at the time. November was the anniversary of the baby’s death and on December 4 all this happened. I can’t imagine what it must be like to lose a child.”
Yesterday he was waiting for a phone call from her at New Hall Women’s Prison at Wakefield, to see whether she will say ‘yes’.
He said: “It is just a shame because we were doing really well. As I understand it she stabbed me at an angle and it just went through the lung, kidney, liver and pancreas. I am still a little short of breath.
“You wish you could turn the clock back but you can’t.”
The 48-year-old divorced father-of-two returned to the UK last year from the United States where he’d lived many years and met Baillie when they were working together as chefs preparing food for a wedding in Beverley.
He said: “She was this cute girl in chef’s whites and I kept looking and thinking has she got a boyfriend or is she married, and we got talking and it turned out she wasn’t. I was planning on her birthday December 29 that I was going to propose and we were going to have a good Christmas and I just woke up in hospital.
“We had gone out that afternoon and played a couple of games of pool, she had three Malibus and I had two Jack Daniels and a pint of beer, whether she had been drinking that day I don’t know. I said: ‘Are you going to eat?’ She said: ‘No, I’m not hungry.’
“Everything seemed to be going fine. She said something like, it’s alright for you, you can see your children and I can’t see mine, she went off and I don’t remember much else. It was a nightmare. You don’t want to believe that someone you love did that.”
The knife, an earlier hearing was told, had entered Mr Todd’s body up to the hilt and was described by surgeons as having required “considerable force” to penetrate so far. After stabbing him, a panic-stricken Baillie knocked on a neighbour’s door and asked him to call the police.
After two months in hospital Mr Todd “snuck out” one weekend to see her in prison “against everyone’s advice”.
He said: “Everybody says ‘get rid’, but if you look in somebody’s eyes as I did the first time I visited her, I just looked at her and it didn’t make sense, you can’t explain it.
“She was shaking and upset and apologised and said she would do anything for it not to have happened.
“I think love is one of the weirdest emotions – it can take you through anything.”
Mr Todd, who lives in Hessle, near Hull, is living on income support but wants to set up his own business or go back to college.
Mr Todd, who praised staff at Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital who looked after him, said: “I am 99 per cent positive that she would have said yes but I am waiting for that phone call. I am praying that when she does come back this will make us just so strong.”
Baillie admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent. She will be sentenced on Wednesday. However according to a 2010 study by the men’s rights campaign group Parity around two in five of all victims of domestic violence are men, contradicting the widespread assumption that it is almost always women who are the victims.
The charity analysed statistics which showed that men made up about 40 per cent of domestic violence victims each year between 2004-05 and 2008-09.
Campaigners believe the figures underestimate the true number of victims, as culturally men find it difficult to bring attacks to the attention of the authorities.