No jail for Tesco worker who asked colleague to arrange killing
A Tesco worker who asked a colleague if she could arrange to have her daughter-in-law killed has walked free from court.
Minaxi Gosai, 53, asked her friend Helena Elias, who she worked with at the Clapham Common branch of Tesco, whether her boyfriend could kill her relative.
When a shocked Ms Elias replied that her boyfriend was in prison for robbery, Gosai asked if he knew "anybody else" who could help arrange the killing.
Ms Elias reported the incident on March 28 this year to her manager, who questioned Gosai about it in an interview two days later.
She confessed she had approached her colleague and she was reported to police before being suspended by the retailer.
Gosai, of Acacia Drive, in Sutton, Surrey, was convicted of one count of soliciting murder after a trial.
Judge Jeremy Donne, sitting at Inner London Crown Court, sentenced her to two years in jail suspended for two years.
Walking on a crutch and wearing a blue cardigan over a purple and orange floral dress, Gosai smiled at the judge before he handed down her sentence.
The court heard Gosai, who was on medication for depression, was a carer for her disabled husband and also lived with her son and daughter-in-law.
In sentencing, Judge Donne said: "In effect you felt extremely put upon. You had been under a very great deal of stress."
The judge said the circumstances of the case were "peculiar" and he did not believe Gosai would have followed through with the act.
He said: "The offence of soliciting the murder of another is a very serious offence but it's an offence which can be very case specific.
"There are those cases where in soliciting the murder of another, a great deal of preparation is done towards the act. There are other cases when police are informed and an undercover officer is instructed, conversations are recorded.
"Inevitably, the suspect will be asked if they wish to proceed with the act or wish to back out.
"The police were not involved with you before you had in fact confessed to your manager - you were never given a chance to back out."
The "free and frank" admission she made to her manager would not have been allowed if it was by police, the judge added.
"Having heard you, seen you and having heard all about you, I'm of the view that you would not have carried this enterprise through," he said.
"I think you would have come to your senses and realised the gravity of what it was that you were asking."
Ms Elias previously told the court that Gosai was a "lovely woman" but had a "tendency to get overemotional".
Her daughter-in-law was also under the impression that "all was sweetness and light" between the pair and relations had improved since the incident, Judge Donne said.
He added his sentence was "a wholly exceptional course", saying: "I very much trust and hope you will never trouble the courts again.
"If you find life becoming unbearable for you, ask for help, do not take matters into your own hands."