Sydney high-rise murderer Simon Gittany jailed for up to 26 years

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 February, 2014, 10:23pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 February, 2014, 10:30pm


An Australian who threw his Canadian girlfriend off the balcony of their high-rise Sydney apartment in a crime that captivated the nation was yesterday sentenced to up to 26 years in jail.

Simon Gittany hurled his fiancée, former ballerina Lisa Harnum, from their 15th-floor home in a fit of rage in July 2011 after discovering she was leaving him.

The 40-year-old, supported in court by a glamorous new girlfriend during his trial, claimed a suicidal Harnum, 30, slipped and fell after climbing over a railing.

But he was found guilty late last year and yesterday sentenced to a maximum 26 years and a minimum 18 years, with Justice Lucy McCallum saying he had shown no remorse and had little prospect of rehabilitation.

The court heard Gittany had installed CCTV cameras inside the apartment and used a computer program to monitor Harnum's text messages and e-mails. One of the cameras showed him restraining Harnum outside their home and then dragging her back inside on the night she died. Harnum was heard yelling: "Please help me, help me, God help me."

His current girlfriend Rachelle Louise was noticeably absent in court. Reports said she had signed a lucrative deal with commercial network Channel Seven to tell her side of the story.

Gittany's solicitor Abigail Bannister said he would appeal.