A Surrey woman charged with planning to have her former boss killed is not a criminal and shouldn’t spend any time behind bars, says her lawyer.
Amarjit Lally, 47, was arrested and charged in April 2010 with one count of counseling to commit an indictable offence for trying to arrange a hit on Gurcharan Singh Brar. The murder was never carried out, but Lally pleaded guilty to the charge.
In Surrey Provincial Court on Monday, defence lawyer Russ Chamberlain said his client spent years in a horribly dysfunctional family situation with an alcoholic husband who abused her mentally and physically.
“It is quite clear that this woman has lived through an atrocious set of circumstances,” Chamberlain said.
In testimony in December, the court heard that Lally met a pair of undercover police officers – posing as hit men – in a parking lot at Scottsdale Centre.
The court heard Lally had borrowed money from Brar, her boss at D and G Furniture at the time. Brar testified she borrowed $10,000 with interest charged at $1,000 per month. Lally testified she only borrowed $1,000, but that Brar threatened to tell her abusive husband, knowing it would make her homelife more difficult.
Chamberlain argued that by the time Lally met with the undercover officers with her “pie in the sky scheme,” she was very distraught.
“She was not a woman capable of any kind of judgement,” Chamberlain said. “They (the officers) had to have noticed and seen that this woman was a desperate, desperate woman.”
He said that instead of setting her up, the police officers should have used “better judgement” and offered the already victimized Lally the help she needed.
Chamberlain added Lally’s husband has made it clear he is leaving the country and has no plans to help support the couple’s two children, making incarcerating Lally that much more damaging to the family. He suggested she be handed a conditional sentence, followed by three years probation.
Crown prosecutors, however, argued Lally was planning a murder and should spend at least five years in prison.
Recordings, said prosecutor Satinder Sidhu, show Lally arranged to run drugs across the U.S. border if the so-called hit men killed Brar.
On Monday in court, she admitted she met with the men who she thought were contract killers, but did not hire them.
“I said to them, I did not want them to do anything, but if anything changed, I’d call them,” Lally said through an interpreter.
She also admitted to identifying a photo of Brar that the undercover officers showed her and said they encouraged her to run the drugs.
“I was entangled in such a situation from which I could not get myself out,” Lally said.
Lally was initially also charged with arranging to have her mother-in-law killed, but the Crown said that charge will be stayed.
Judge Reg Harris reserved sentencing until Feb. 20.