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Thursday, February 6, 2014

New witness in Simon Gittany case





At his sentencing hearing yesterday, convicted murderer Simon Gittany was in tears, still maintaining his innocence.  The Prosecution produced a new witness who said that Gittany told Harnum that if she ever left him, he would kill her and make it look like suicide. The unnamed woman said Harnum had confided in her because she was in an abusive relationship herself.

NSW senior Prosecutor Mark Tedeschi QC said this new evidence showed the murder was "a much more serious offence" than previously presented.  

Harnum believed him when he said he would kill her. "I can't leave him, he'll kill me" she told her.  One night Gittany asked her how her food tasted.  "He was implying that there was poison in the food."






Gittany's lawyer Peter Strickland SC put it to the witness that her evidence was a complete fabrication and her testimony had come "too late."

Gittany told the court he was a God-fearing Christian who would never kill anyone. "I have been charged with a crime I did not commit, that in itself is a cross that is unbearable" he said.

His new girlfriend Rachelle Louise gave evidence that Gittany was a caring, romantic man and would stand by him until justice was served. She had spent a lot of money on the trial, she said, but later admitted being paid for a television interview.

Today Mark Tedeschi will tell the court what sentence he thinks Justice Lucy McCallum should consider.  He said the new evidence provided by the witness showed, "if not premeditation, a protracted contemplation of the option of killing her, and making it look like suicide. It places the offender's culpability in a completely different light to the way it was portrayed during the trial" he said.

Gittany will be sentenced at a later date.