Crime Task


  A) Names and citation of the case, court where it was held and the date
R v Gittany (no4) [2013] NSWSC1737 (27 November 2013) was the date in which Justice McCallum found Mr Gittany Guilty. He was subsequently sentenced in R v Gittany (no5) [2014] NSWSC 49 (11 Feb 2014).

  B) Identify the offence and what the person was charged with
Crimes Against the Person (murder) – Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) Section 18

  C) A brief explanation of the case
Simon Gittany was charged with the murder of Lisa Cecilia Harnum on 30 July 2011. The case was held in the Supreme Court of New South Wales under the order of judge Lucy McCallum. He pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder. On his application, the judge ordered that he be tried by a judge alone, the rationale for this decision was that the criminal justice system believed that because of adverse media coverage it will make it impossible for them to get a fair trial before a jury as seen in - Criminal Procedure Act 1986 (NSW) section 132.

At the time of Lisa Harnum's death, she and the accused were living together as a de-facto couple. Their apartment was on the 15th floor of a block of apartments known as The Hyde. Miss Harnum fell to her death from the balcony of that apartment. It was said she died almost instantaneously as a result of injuries sustained in the fall. The principal factual issue in the trial was whether Simon Gittany throwing her off the balcony caused her death. The Crown alleges “he deliberately lifted Miss Harnum over the balustrade and "unloaded" her over the edge.” The accused says that she climbed over the railing of her own accord and either slipped or allowed herself to fall off the awning on the other side. Because of this event being so violent it attracted lots of attention in the media and there was a huge amount of public interest.

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