Man jailed for throwing fiancee off balcony

Canadian ballerina Lisa Harnum, who died after falling from the 15th floor of an apartment in...

Canadian ballerina Lisa Harnum, who died after falling from the 15th floor of an apartment in Sydney, Australia, is pictured in this 2011 file photo. (REX/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:37 AM ET

An Australia man found guilty of killing his Canadian fiancee by throwing her off a balcony in 2011 was sentenced Tuesday to 26 years in prison.

Simon Gittany, 40, had pleaded not guilty to murdering Lisa Harnum, 30, on July 30, 2011. He was found guilty in November.

Judge Lucy McCallum ordered that Gittany, who has maintained his innocence throughout, not be eligible for parole until he's served 18 years, The Daily Telegraph reported.

"My entire life has been put up in front of not just Australia but the whole world," Gittany said at his sentencing hearing last Wednesday. "I am charged with a crime that I did not commit. That in itself is a cross that is unbearable."

Harnum, who is from Ottawa, was planning to return to Canada the morning she was killed when Gittany threw her from his 15-floor balcony in Sydney.

Gittany's lawyer, Abigail Bannister, said outside court that her client will appeal, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Gittany's current girlfriend, Rachelle Louise, wasn't in court for Tuesday's sentencing.

At Gittany's sentencing hearing last week Louise took the stand and tearfully said her killer boyfriend was "the best boyfriend I have ever had," adding he was "caring" and "romantic."


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