A former Windsor immigration lawyer has been sentenced to a year in jail for fabricating evidence.

Sandra Zaher,was found guilty of several charges in July after counselling a potential immigrant to fabricate a refugee story.

Zaher was charged following an RCMP investigation in 2012.

Defence lawyer Maria Carroccia tells CTV Windsor the long process has taken a toll on her clients health.

In explaining her judgement in court Wednesday, Justice Renee Pomerance says the principles of general deterrence and denunciation are paramount, and lawyers have a duty to vigilantly represent their clients interests, but are also obliged to prevent the system from being abused through fraud.

The defence was asking for a conditional sentence, while the Crown wanted three to five years in jail time.

Justice Pomerance recommended to correctional authorities that Zaher be placed in a facility where she has access to meaningful psychological counselling and support.