Rachelle Louise with Simon Gittany at his trial for murdering his former girlfriend Lisa Harnum.
Rachelle Louise with Simon Gittany at his trial for murdering his former girlfriend Lisa Harnum.

Woman killer Simon Gittany’s ex chases job as a lawyer

Rachelle Louise is no stranger to the courtroom.

The former girlfriend of convicted killer Simon Gittany became a well-known figure in her own right when she stood by her man throughout his trial for throwing ex-fiancee Lisa Harnum off the balcony of his CBD apartment in 2011.

 

Rachelle Louise, the ex-girlfriend of killer Simon Gittany, has been admitted as a lawyer.
Rachelle Louise, the ex-girlfriend of killer Simon Gittany, has been admitted as a lawyer.

While Gittany's 18-year jail term put an end to their relationship, the whole experience inspired Ms Louise to change her career.

The Snitch is reliably informed the former IT professional is ready for a legal job after being recently admitted as a lawyer.

 

Ms Louise with Gittany at his trial for murdering his former girlfriend Lisa Harnum.
Ms Louise with Gittany at his trial for murdering his former girlfriend Lisa Harnum.

 

A source close to Ms Louise, who has been spotted in the public gallery observing major criminal trials in recent years, said she hadn't landed a permanent gig but previously worked as a paralegal in the CBD.

 

FAREWELL, A GIANT

When David Elliott called his father-in-law Fred Brame to tell him he'd been appointed NSW Police Minister, the legendary cop simply replied: "Come over in the morning and bring a notepad."

The police community is currently celebrating the accomplished life of retired superintendent Brame after he passed away on Friday following a short illness.

 

Police Minister David Elliott and his late father-in-law Superintendent Fred Brame at the Commissioner Officers Dinner this year.
Police Minister David Elliott and his late father-in-law Superintendent Fred Brame at the Commissioner Officers Dinner this year.

The 77-year-old had decades of operational experience, from cutting his teeth in Darlinghurst to overseeing stations in notoriously challenging areas like Macquarie Fields and Mt Druitt, And to being the forward commander in the search for Ivan
Milat's victims in Belanglo State Forest.

"He was always very considered in his advice," Mr Elliott said. "He was a senior officer in the police as it transformed through the royal commission so he knew the old school as well as the new expectations of policing.

"He was very keen for police to be given the right to use their discretion."

Aside from being a trusted adviser, Mr Brame wasn't too bad at campaigning either. According to Mr Elliott, when he'd push Mr Brame, who was in a wheelchair in his latter years, around Castle Towers Shopping Centre he'd loudly boast about the local MP: "What other politician would take a poor disabled copper out shopping for the day?"

His varied and highly respected career turned him into a statesman of the force.

"I was a sergeant at Mt Druitt and he came along and took us all under his wing," Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy said. "Many of us moved on and there was a bit of Fred in all of us I think."

Vale Fred.

 

PANTS MAN

A man was caught with his pants down in Central Local Court this week. Literally.

It was business as usual in bustling Courtroom One on Tuesday morning until the man, who was appearing via audiovisual link, stood up.

He had discreetly managed to take his pants off while the magistrate dealt with his matter and provided the court with a full frontal.

When an unimpressed corrections officer opened the door to the AVL room to take the man back to his cell, he pushed the pantless accused back. "Put your pants back on," he remarked before swiftly slamming the door.

 

GREAT SCOTT

One of the most coveted roles at State Crime Command will be up for grabs after the latest round of police promotions.

The rumour mill was slightly off the mark recently, with Detective Superintendent Paul Pisanos landing an Assistant Commissioner position within the capability performance and youth command.

 

Detective Superintendent Scott Cook. Picture: Brendan Esposito
Detective Superintendent Scott Cook. Picture: Brendan Esposito

The newly-formed licensing and prosecutions command instead went to Homicide Squad boss Detective Superintendent Scott Cook, a seasoned investigator who previously led the Organised Crime Squad.

His ascent will leave the high-profile homicide squad top job wide open.

 

MONEY TRAIL

Legal Aid has copped some heat lately for the outdated rates it pays private lawyers and barristers.

So The Snitch took a look at the law firms that earned the most from Legal Aid last year. Ross Hill & Associates was the top earner, with Legal Aid paying the firm more than $1.6 million last financial year to run 221 cases.

In second place was Ramsland Laidler Solicitors, who earned $1.1 million, followed by Ryan and Paten Criminal Law Specialists.

Also in the top 10 earners were high-profile firms Bannisters Lawyers, Oxford Lawyers and Birchgrove Legal.

 

Got a snitch? Contact Ava.benny-morrison@news.com.au or Brenden.hills@news.com.au

 

*For 24-hour domestic violence support  call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636. 



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