Death fall: Did woman jump or was she pushed?

Death fall: Did woman jump or was she pushed?
Simon Gittany (above), with his new girlfriend Rachelle Louise, was allegedly a controlling partner who kept intense surveillance on his fiancee Lisa Harnum and reduced her to a ''mere shell of a person''.

The death of a former ballerina who screamed "Help me - God help me!" before plunging from a luxury apartment in Sydney has led to a gripping murder case that has captivated Australia.

The mystery is whether Ms Lisa Harnum, 30, an aspiring Canadian-born model, fell to her death or was pushed off the balcony by Simon Gittany, 40, her jealous wealthy fiance.

In the month-long trial, the New South Wales Supreme Court heard a sad tale of jealousy, obsession, manipulation and a deeply dysfunctional relationship in the lead-up to Ms Harnum's death at 9.55am on July 30, 2011.

Gittany is accused of being an "insanely jealous" and abusive partner. The trial, which ended on Nov 15 and awaits a verdict, heard he used a computer programme to spy on Ms Harnum's text messages and installed tiny security cameras inside and outside the apartment.

Gittany admitted he was jealous of his beautiful fiancee, but denied killing her in a "fit of apoplectic rage" because she wanted to leave him. Adding to the intrigue, he has arrived in court each day with a new girlfriend, Ms Rachelle Louise, a 24-year-old model who looks strikingly like the dead woman.

The prosecution's case was that Gittany was a controlling partner who kept intense surveillance on his fiancee's every move. And when he found out that she was secretly planning to leave him two days before her death, he flew into a murderous rage.

"He was not satisfied with her having even the tiniest part of her life that he didn't know about or control," the crown prosecutor, Mr Mark Tedeschi QC, told the court.

Ms Harnum's final moments were captured in chilling footage by a hidden pinhole camera outside the apartment. It showed the couple's violent quarrel as Gittany seized her as she tried to leave the apartment.

He dragged her back inside, putting his hand around her mouth as she screamed, "Help me - God help me!"

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