JUST 50 metres away from where Lisa Harnum fell to her death, her fiance sat in court accused of murdering her.
The Hyde apartment building, with its shiny facade that reflects the green tree tops in Hyde Park, towers over the Downing Centre court complex in inner Sydney.
It was in the local court where evidence of Simon Gittany and Ms Harnum’s troubled home life, in a rented unit on the 15th floor of the luxury apartments, was revealed at his committal hearing this week.
Mr Gittany, 39, denies dropping Ms Harnum from their balcony in a rage on July 30, 2011, after she said she was leaving him. Magistrate Clare Farnan on Friday committed him for trial.
The court heard allegations Mr Gittany was ”jealous”, ”possessive” and had cameras installed to watch Ms Harnum, who friends said was trying to recover from an eating disorder she kept secret from him.
Ms Harnum, 30, who was born in Toronto and moved to Australia in 2004, moved in with Mr Gittany as a flatmate in 2010, before a relationship developed.
Ms Harnum’s mother, Joan, said in a police statement she was worried from the start.
”I remember during one conversation with Lisa, she said something to me like, ‘I was trying to see my friends and Simon wouldn’t let me hang out with them because he says they’re a bad influence.’ ”
Mr Gittany agreed Ms Harnum could work at a hair salon in early 2011, but soon forced her to quit, according to her mother.
”Lisa told me she stopped working at the salon because Simon told her she was wearing her hair down and was dressing a bit fancier.
”He told her she was changing, people were looking at her and that he didn’t like it.”
There were similar text and phone conversations up until her death, Mrs Harnum said, including the day before her daughter died.
”Lisa said to me ‘Mommy can you come and get me?’ I said ‘I can come this Friday, August 8, can you hang on until then?’ I wish now I had just dropped everything and ran to her.”
Personal trainer Lisa Brown had only started working with Ms Harnum in the weeks before her death, but her client confided in her about Mr Gittany.
Ms Brown said on July 28 Ms Harnum, sometimes called Cecilia by friends, asked her to help remove pillow cases stuffed with clothes from the apartment building.
”Cecilia told me that the only time she was allowed to leave the unit was to go grocery shopping,” Ms Brown said in a statement.
Mr Gittany’s barrister, Anthony Bellanto, QC, said Ms Harnum was at a ”low ebb” and she took her own life.
”There were obvious issues as far as [Ms Harnum] was concerned as to her emotional state, as to her relationship with the accused, his attitude towards her, her feelings of anxiety of moving on, the relationship with her mother. All these issues that were obviously going through her mind.”
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.