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Local News

Gittany 'deserves life' for balcony death

Simon Gittany with his new girlfriend Rachelle Louise.
Senior prosecutor Mark Tedeschi described Gittany – who threw his fiancée Lisa Harnum off the balcony of their luxury Sydney apartment – as a "cold" and "calculated" killer.
Tedeschi recommended Gittany be locked up for a minimum of 20 years without parole because his complete "lack of remorse" proved he could not be rehabilitated.
Defence barrister Philip Strickland disagreed, saying Gittany was unlikely to reoffend and that his supportive family would increase his chances of rehabilitation.
The sentencing hearing took a surprising turn yesterday when the Crown introduced a new witness, a friend of Harnum's who testified that Gittany "frequently" threatened Harnum with death if she left him.
The woman, who knew Harnum from beauty college and had previously been in an abusive relationship, only came forward after the prosecution closed its case last year.
The new witness cried as she recounted daily death threats made against Harnum, who allegedly feared Gittany would poison her food and if he killed her, "make it look like suicide".
Strickland condemned the claims as "fabricated", while Gittany mouthed "seriously" and shook his head as the evidence was revealed.
In earlier drama, Gittany's current girlfriend Rachelle Louise led a silent protest of his friends and family, wielding various placards proclaiming his innocence.
They included signs saying "How do you render some 1 unconscious in less than 65 secs without any trauma on the body?" and "Why was Lisa still holding her handbag and how if she was unconscious?"
Justice Lucy McCallum said she anticipated Gittany's sentence would be handed down on February 11.

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