In 2011, Simon Gittany murdered his fiancée Lisa Harnum by throwing her off the balcony of their 15th-floor Sydney apartment.
Today, he was sentenced to 26 years- with a non-parole period of 18 years- for the crime, which he carried out in a “fit of rage” when Ms Harnum said she was leaving him.
Supreme Court Justice Lucy McCallum, who presided over his judge-only trial, announced the sentence at 11:05am, describing Gittany as “controlling, dominant and at times abusive”.
Justice McCallum said there was “no doubt” that he intended to kill Ms Harnum when he threw her off the balcony.
“Ms Harnum must have been in a state of complete terror in the moments before her death,” she said, adding that there were no prospects for rehabilitation for Gittany.
Defence counsel are expected to appeal the conviction.
Rachelle Louise continues to defend Gittany
Gittany’s new girlfriend, Rachelle Louise, has been a vocal supporter of Gittany’s throughout the trial and sentencing. However, it’s been reported that she initially did not attend the sentencing this morning apparently because of deal with Channel 7 that requires her to hold her silence.
Ms Louise defended him in a paid interview on Sunday night, describing him as “an honest person.”
“Well, he doesn’t like me to wear high heels to the shops either,” admitted Ms Louise in the interview when questioned about his controlling behaviour toward Harnum.
“But the other stuff I don’t believe at all.”
Asked what she thought of an image of Gittany covering Harnum’s mouth and dragging her back into their apartment mere seconds before throwing her off the balcony, Ms Louise appeared unruffled.
“They have a relationship where she would run away from him and he would chase her and that’s exactly what he’s done,” she added.
“She’s run, he’s chased her, she’s screamed, he’s put his hand on her mouth and brought her back inside.”