Convicted killer Simon Gittany pictured with Lisa Harnum.
Convicted killer Simon Gittany pictured with Lisa Harnum.

'Over the balcony you go': Simon Gittany given 18 years

SIMON Gittany will spend a minimum of 18 years behind bars for the balcony murder of his fiancee, Lisa Harnum.

Justice Lucy McCallum found the 40-year-old had allowed a "sense of ownership over Lisa to overwhelm her basic rights to live as she pleased".

She said Gittany had shown no remorse and that there was no prospect of rehabilitation.

As the sentence was handed down, people in the public gallery clapped and cheered.

One woman yelled "over the balcony you go".

Gittany's current girlfriend, Rachelle Louise, who is rumoured to have been offered more than $100,000 for an exclusive interview with Channel Seven's Sunday Night, was notably absent from the courtroom.

Gittany received a head sentence of 26 years. He will first be eligible for parole in May, 2031.

His family has vowed to appeal.

Last week, prosecutors said Gittany should stay in jail for at least 20 years over the "cold and calculated" murder of his fiancé.

Crown Prosecutor Mark Tedeschi said the 40-year-old had shown a "complete lack of remorse" over Ms Harnum's murder.

He called on the court to impose the minimum statutory non-parole period.

Gittany, who has maintained his innocence throughout the trial, told the court he was a "god fearing man" who had been found guilty of a crime he did not commit.

Gittany's legal team submitted Justice McCallum should take into account the punishment he had already been subjected to by virtue of the intense media interest in the case.

Mr Tedeschi said Justice McCallum should reject that argument as various behaviour demonstrated by his family members outside of court and highly publicised television interview with his current girlfriend Rachelle Louise, suggested his family had in fact courted media attention.

Ms Louise led a bizarre protest outside the court, helping supporters to hold up signs which questioned the court's finding's and compared Gittany to acquitted killers Gordon Wood and Lindy Chamberlain.

She described Gittany as romantic and caring and vowed to remain by his side until "justice was done".

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