A FRAUDSTER tried to have his mother-in-law murdered because he believed she took his wife and children from him.

While awaiting trial for mortgage frauds worth more than half a million pounds, Bhupinder Dhesi met an undercover police officer in Greenhithe to arrange the killing of his wife’s mum.

He also asked a private detective to find two witnesses to provide false testimony at his fraud trial.

The 36-year-old, of Lennox Road in Gravesend, was jailed for 11 years at Maidstone Crown Court on Thursday (April 12).

He previously admitted three charges of fraud, one of perverting the course of justice and another of soliciting murder.

In 2007, Dhesi took out mortgages on two houses in London without the homeowner’s knowledge, claiming £390,000 in total.

In 2009, he “sold” the house of an elderly dementia sufferer without his permission for £253,000 leaving the “buyer” having to pay £1,000-a-month for a house he didn’t own.

Judge Jeremy Carey said the frauds were “very serious”, “audacious in the extreme” and required a “high degree of planning”.

He accepted others had to be involved, but said Dhesi was “an important participant”.

Judith Benson, mitigating, said Dhesi – who worked as a mortgage introducer - was brought into the fraud by other people because of his professional contacts.

Mrs Benson said he only made around £70,000 to £85,000 from the three frauds.

She added his behaviour “spiralled” after his divorce and the failure of the family business in 2005, which led to debt, depression and alcohol abuse.

Judge Carey said: “To a greater or lesser extent, many people fall into problems and do not resort to serious criminality.”

Dhesi pleaded guilty to the three fraud charges shortly before the trial date.

It was while he was awaiting trial, last September, that he engaged private detective Tony Gaskin to track down his second wife and mother of his two children, Sanjeet Dhesi, who had left him in June.

He then asked Mr Gaskin to find two witnesses to lie at his trial for two of the fraud offences, planned for October 17.

Feeling uneasy, Mr Gaskin asked Dhesi to e-mail his request and contacted the police.

Dhesi later asked Mr Gaskin if he knew anyone that could arrange for an “accident to happen” to his wife or “make her go away”.

In a recorded conversation on October 4, he said he wanted his mother-in-law, Parminder Sandhu, hurt instead.

Asked how badly, he said “very, very, very”.

Mr Gaskin asked: “Are we looking at her dead or are we looking at her alive.”

Dhesi responded: “The first one you said.”

An undercover officer, Steve, made contact the next day and Dhesi told him: “I want to get a certain individual wiped out. This individual has taken my wife and babies away.”

Dhesi met Steve in Greenhithe on October 6 and showed him a picture of his mother-in-law as well as giving him her address, phone number and details of her bus route.

A fee of £10,000 to £12,000 was agreed with a down payment of £1,000.

On October 7, Dhesi said he hadn’t got the money and was going away for a couple of days. He was arrested on October 13.

The court heard Dhesi was of previous good character, except for a 2006 caution for harassing his ex-wife and Judge Carey said there were “clearly domestic violence issues” with his estranged wife.

Mrs Benson said the attempt to pervert to course of justice and solicit murder was borne out of “panic and desperation” and it was not “an entirely realistic proposal”.

Judge Carey described the attempts as a “very grim state of affairs”.

He said: “Here is a defendant in earnest asking for another to murder his mother-in-law and willing to pay for it.”

“To say this was an extreme response is a substantial understatement.”