Brampton woman sentenced to 12 years in prison for 2009 death of sister-in-law
Published Thursday, August 4, 2016 3:45PM EDT Last Updated Thursday, August 4, 2016 7:23PM EDT
A Brampton woman has been sentenced to 12 years in prison after she was convicted of manslaughter in connection with the death of her sister-in law, Poonam Litt.
Litt – a pregnant mother of one – vanished from her Brampton home in February 2009. Her remains were found three years later in a wooded area in Caledon.
Earlier this year, a jury found Mandeep Punia guilty of manslaughter in the death of Litt.
A judge handed her 12 years in prison in a Brampton courtroom on Thursday afternoon. Punia will serve five years, six months and 12 days after credit for time already served is applied to the sentence.
A CTV Toronto reporter inside the courtroom said an outburst occurred after the judge read the sentencing. The reporter said Punia shouted at the judge, “This is not right. If anything happens to my children the court is responsible.”
In response, family members of Litt are said to have responded by telling her to “go to hell.” One yelled, "This is not right? You murdered two people!"
Justice Steve Coroza told the court that Punia stabbed Litt in the neck in the family kitchen after an argument. At the time, Litt was pregnant and holding her young daughter in her arms.
Coroza said that Punia, her husband and her father helped remove and dispose of the body in Caledon.
Punia, a mother of two, was initially charged with second-degree murder but a jury ultimately convicted her of manslaughter.
Her lawyers had asked that she be setenced to eight to 10 years behind bars while the Crown asked for 12 to 14.
"The sentence of 12 years does not represent the value of her mother's life but is only designed to reflect what I feel is an appropriate sentence for the offender, so far as the law is concerned," Coroza said, directing his statement to the victim's young daughter.
Punia’s husband, Skinder Punia, was also found guilty of being an accessory to the fact for helping dispose of Litt’s body. He has been sentenced to seven years in prison on the charges.
Kulwant Litt – Punia’s father – pleaded guilty in helping cover up his daughter-in law’s death and has been remanded in custody since his arrest in 2012. He is expected to be sentenced in the case Friday.
The family of Poonam Litt told investigators she gave her young daughter to relatives before she left home for work. Litt never showed up for work that day.