Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Australian jailed for throwing lover over balcony

11 February 2014, 07:33

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

Simon Gittany was convicted of hurling his fiancée, former ballerina Lisa Harnum, from their 15th floor home in a fit of rage in July 2011 after discovering she planned to leave him.

The 40-year-old, who was steadfastly supported in court by a glamorous new girlfriend, maintained his innocence throughout the trial, claiming a suicidal Harnum, 30, slipped and fell after climbing over a railing.

But he was found guilty late last year and on Tuesday 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.


During his trial, the court heard Gittany was controlling, 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."

When the sentence was announced, a member of Gittany's family in the public gallery was removed from court after yelling: "In the name of Jesus Christ, he won't do any of that time."

Reporters said another woman celebrated when the sentence was handed down, shouting "Off the balcony you go" to Gittany.

His current girlfriend Rachelle Louise, who has fiercely defended Gittany, was noticeably absent for the sentencing. 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 her client would appeal.


Tags australia

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...