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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Simon Gittany's girlfriend sues Daily Telegraph

More than a year after Simon Gittany was convicted of murdering Lisa Harnum by throwing her off a 15th storey balcony in Sydney, his former girlfriend Rachelle Louise told the court she still believes he is innocent. She said that CCTV evidence conflicted with the eyewitness Joshua Rathmell's evidence given at Gittany's trial.

Rachelle Louise is suing Nationwide News over three articles that appeared in the Daily Telegraph in 2013 in which they wrongly reported that she was a stripper, a prostitute and a bimbo.

One article written by police reporter Clementine Cuneo, wrongly reported that Ms Louise had worked as a stripper at a club called Peppermint Rhino in Las Vegas and as a masseuse in London and accepted diamond necklaces from strangers as she travelled the world.

Her barrister Clive Evatt said "add them all up and they are saying she's a prostitute and a woman of loose morals."  He went on to say that instead, she is a "modern day Joan of Arc" who gave Gittany $90,000 of her life savings to help fund his defence. 

Yesterday was the first day of the civil trial with a four-person jury of two men and two women.

The trial continues.

Edit 9 May 2015:  Halfway through a jury trial, the parties announced that the case would not be proceeding.
The terms of the settlement are confidential and each party will pay their own costs.
Speaking outside court, Ms Louise said: "I am ecstatic with the result."