Crown seeks six to seven years for Abbotsford man convicted of manslaughter

Amrit Gill apologized in court for his role in the 2008 stabbing death of Harvey Hans of Abbotsford.

A man convicted of manslaughter in the stabbing death of 18-year-old Harmin (Harvey) Hans apologized in court Wednesday for the role he played in the incident.

Amrit Gill, 23, said although he did not stab Hans, he wanted to apologize for being at the scene in the early-morning hours of May 24, 2008.

Hans was stabbed in the neck and died on the front lawn of his family’s Ridgeview Drive home following an altercation with Gill; Shavinder (Shevy) Brar, who previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to five years in prison; and a group of their friends.

“I would like to say sorry to the Hans family for their loss … There has not been a day that I have not thought of Harvey,” said Gill, speaking to a packed courtroom at his sentencing hearing in B.C. Supreme Court in Chilliwack.

His voice wavered several times as he talked about the suffering experienced by both the Hans and Gill families, and the impact the charges and trial have had on his life.

Harvey HansJustice William Grist has previously said that he cannot conclusively determine whether it was Gill or Brar who stabbed Hans, but both were responsible for the events that led to his death.

Crown prosecutor Carolyn Lawlor recommended a federal sentence of six to seven years for Gill, saying he should receive a sterner punishment than Brar.

Lawlor said Gill “deliberately orchestrated” the events of that night, in response to a fight that Hans had with Brar’s brother.

She said this included arranging for friends to gather outside the Hans home and wait for Hans’ arrival, as well as obtaining the knife and Taser that were used. Gill gave Brar directions on how the attack should occur, Lawlor added.

“This was a mob lying in wait,” she said of the group. “There was nothing accidental about what happened on the Hans’ lawn that night.”

Lawlor also said Hans has shown no remorse for the incident – a statement that defence lawyer John Conroy challenged.

He presented almost 30 character reference letters from family and friends, many of whom referred to the remorse that Gill has expressed since Hans’ death.

Conroy also challenged the references to Hans as the ringleader of the group, saying it was Brar who organized the attack and “was getting others riled up” to back him.

Conroy said Gill’s decision to accompany Brar to the scene was a “rash response resulting in tragic consequences.”

He said Gill has been an exemplary citizen since the incident. He has held a job, attended school to work towards a diploma in criminal justice, and fully complied with his probation orders.

Conroy suggested that a provincial sentence of two years less a day, plus three years’ probation, would be more appropriate.

The judge has reserved his decision until Friday at 2 p.m.