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Case Study: The Simon Gittany Murder Case

1735 words - 7 pages

Case Study: The Simon Gittany Murder Case

Word count: 1543

Type of Homicide

Simon Gittany was charged with the murder of Lisa Cecilia Harnum on 30 July 2011, was later found guilty on 27 November 2013 and sentenced to 18 years imprisoned without parole. At the time of Lisa Harnum's death, she and Simon Gittany were living together and were engaged to be married. Their apartment was on the 15th floor of a block of apartments in Sydney. Miss Harnum fell to her death from the balcony of that apartment. Simon Gittany was found to have deliberately lifted Miss Harnum over the balustrade and "unloaded" her body over the edge where she then fell to her death.

The type of homicide ...view middle of the document...

(AustLII 2015)
At the age of 18 Mr Gittany was convicted of an offence of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and was released on good behaviour. (AustLII 2015)
At the age of 21 Mr Gittany was convicted of two offences of receiving stolen property and assaulting a police office in the execution of his duty and malicious wounding. He was sentenced to a total of 2.5 years to be served by periodic detention. The circumstances of the assault and malicious wounding was on 23 March 1993 two police officers attended Mr Gittany’s home after he failed to appear at Parramatta Local Court in relation to the two charges of receiving stolen property and on being told the purpose of the visit Mr Gittany became agitated and during a struggle he bit Detective Constable Bristow on the ear severing a portion of it. (AustLII 2015)
At the time of the murder Simon Gittany claimed he was running his own business, though it is unclear whether he actually was. He has a number of friends and family willing to do character references for him. (AustLII 2015)

Offender Characteristics And General Patterns

Simon Gittany was a male perpetrator. In almost 4 out of 5 intimate partner homicides the perpetrator was a male (Australian Institute of Criminology 1998).

Simon Gittany committed the murder in the home (AustLII 2015), the majority of intimate-partner homicides occur in the intimacy of the home where the amount of external social control is very limited (Australian Institute of Criminology 1998).

Simon Gittany did not appear to be working at the time of the homicide (AustLII 2015), this is common with 53.5% of intimate homicide offenders not working (Australian Institute of Criminology 1998).

Simon Gittany was born in Australia (AustLII 2015) this is consistent with 69% of homicide offenders being Australian born (Australian Institute of Criminology 1998).

The majority of family homicides, 60%, occur between intimate partners as did this homicide (Australian Institute of Criminology 2003).

Main Characteristics of the Victim

The victim Lisa Cecelia Harnum was 30 years old at the time of her death. She was a very attractive woman (AustLII 2015). She was Canadian born and had many friends and her family in Canada (AustLII 2015). She had a dream of setting up life in Australia. She was a hair dresser, though she was not working at the time of her death. (AustLII 2015).

Victim Characteristics And General Patterns

Lisa Harnum was a female victim. In almost 4 out of 5 intimate partner homicides the victim was a female (Australian Institute of Criminology 1998).

Lisa Harnum was murdered in the home, the majority of intimate-partner homicides occur in the intimacy of the home where the amount of external social control is very limited (Australian Institute of Criminology 1998).

Lisa Harnum was not working at the time of the homicide (AustLII 2015), this is common with 57.7% of intimate homicide victims not working (Australian Institute...

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