A Staffordshire housewife who left her husband blind and deaf by poisoning him with anti-freeze was found guilty of attempted murder yesterday.

Kate Knight, 28, also caused Lee Knight brain damage and kidney failure in April 2005 when she laced his food with ethylene glycol on their seventh wedding anniversary.

A jury at Stafford Crown Court took eight hours to convict Knight, of Meir Hay, Stoke-on-Trent, following a three-week trial which heard that she stood to gain £130,000 from Lee's death.

Mrs Knight hoped to pay off mounting debts by netting £250,000 from her husband's death, but he managed to survive despite spending 16 weeks in a coma after being admitted to hospital in April 2005.

The former brewery worker, who forged her partner's signature to take out two secret loans for £17,000, gasped as the verdict was announced.

Judge Simon Tonking remanded Knight in custody for sentencing on a date to be set following pre-sentence reports.

He told Knight: "I will be imposing a very considerable term of imprisonment."

Mr Knight, whose job at the JCB plant in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, meant his wife would have received a death benefit of around £130,000, recently underwent an operation to restore some of his hearing.

But, now aged 37, he still required two hearing aids and support from two specialists to give evidence at his wife's trial.

He told the court that he knew nothing of the loans, taken out in 2003 and 2004, which motivated his wife's desire to kill him and claim a windfall from his employer.

The jury which convicted Knight was also told that she used the internet search engine Google to find a method of killing, settling on anti-freeze after considering using ecstasy or iron tablets.

During the trial, jurors heard evidence that Knight asked a near neighbour, Sarah Johnson, if she knew a hitman.

Knight, who married at just 19, administered the anti-freeze to her husband in red wine and an Indian takeaway he ate on their wedding anniversary.

She also told Miss Johnson about her plot to poison Lee, showing her anti-freeze in her kitchen cupboard and even inviting her to smell the substance through the wine.

Miss Johnson told the court: "She said she was going to poison his curry that she was cooking that night. She had done it the previous night and he had complained about the tinny taste in his mouth.

"I don't think she realised it would make him blind and deaf. I think she just thought his kidneys would pack in."

Crown counsel William Davis QC told the court that, when Knight was arrested in May 2005, police searched her marital home and discovered a one-litre bottle of Tesco anti-freeze containing 840ml of the fluid.

Outlining the impact of the offence on the victim, Mr Davis told the jury: "He suffered kidney failure and then brain damage and was fortunate to survive.

"He is still deaf and blind and his kidneys are damaged irreparably. He could well have died."

In a statement read outside court by Peter Bate, of Staffordshire Police, Mr Knight said: "Kate has ruined my life.

"It has been very stressful. I realised that my wife had left me.

"I lost my job, my house, everything I worked for and, worst of all, my son.

"I have hardly any independence any more - I need to have somebody with me all the time.

"I don't think I'll ever be able to work again."

Mr Knight, who lives with his parents in Stoke-on-Trent, said that what Knight did will have a "big effect" on their son's future.

He added: "My family have been really supportive. I'd like to thank Staffordshire Police and everybody else who has supported me."