News State QLD News Tostee’s alleged violence tantamount to murder, prosecutor claims

Tostee’s alleged violence tantamount to murder, prosecutor claims

Tostee interview
Gable Tostee has reportedly received a six-figure sum for his Nine interview. Photo: Facebook
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Gable Tostee as good as pushed Warriena Wright from the balcony of his Gold Coast apartment if he instilled such fear and terror that she felt climbing down 14 floors was her only escape, a court has heard.

Prosecutor Glen Cash QC told the Supreme court in Brisbane there was “terror bordering on hysteria” in Ms Wright’s voice as Tostee forced her onto his balcony.

He said she continued to plead to be allowed to go home after being locked out of the unit on the night she died.

Tostee, 30, has pleaded not guilty to murdering the New Zealand tourist who fell to her death from his Avalon Apartment in August 2014.

It is alleged the pair had been on a date after meeting on the Tinder app, but became involved in a violent, drunken altercation in Tostee’s unit in which Ms Wright threw rocks at the accused and tried to hit him with a telescope.

In his closing address, Mr Cash said Ms Wright had “probably” unlawfully assaulted Tostee, but he said the force the accused used in response was unreasonable.

Gable Tostee with Warriena Wright on the evening of her death. Photo: AAP.
Gable Tostee with Warriena Wright on the evening of her death. Photo: AAP.

Mr Cash argued when Ms Wright tried to hit Tostee the “tables had turned” and she had become the victim who was trying to defend herself.

He said Tostee had very quickly dealt with the danger posed and restrained Ms Wright.

The court heard he continued holding her down, told her to leave and she agreed before he forced her onto the balcony – without her phone.

Prosecution outline ‘two options’ facing Wright

Mr Cash argued Ms Wright’s fear of Tostee prompted her to attempt to climb down from his 14th floor balcony.

“Why was she climbing down at all?” he asked to the jury.

“Why was she attempting an act which even while sober and in daylight would undoubtedly be considered dangerous?”

“The prosecution, ladies and gentlemen, says the answer to that question is fear.

“Fear of the defendant. Fear of Gable Tostee. Fear of what he would do to her if he let her back inside.

“Fear of continuation of the violence that she had suffered at his hands in the moments before he forced her on the balcony.

“What abject terror would drive a person in circumstances of Warriena Wright to attempt so risky a manoeuvre as to in the dark, when she was affected by alcohol, to climb off the balcony in an attempt to go down?”

He said if Tostee had instilled such terror in Wright as to make her feel this was her only means of escape, he as good as pushed her off the balcony.

A police reenactment of the moment a neighbour saw legs hanging from Tostee's balcony above. Photo: Queensland Police Service.
A police reenactment of the moment a neighbour saw legs hanging from Tostee’s balcony above. Photo: Queensland Police Service.

“What would she have thought about her options at that point in time? She couldn’t use her phone to gain assistance,” Mr Cash told the jury.

He argued Ms Wright had just two options.

“One was to try and go back into apartment to go back through where Gable Tostee was, to have to engage with the man who on the crown case had violently restrained her,” Mr Cash said.

“The man who had just told her in response to her begging to be permitted to go home that he would not let her do so because she had been in his words ‘a bad girl’.

“In light of what he had done and what she feared he would do, what then was her only reasonable and rational option in those circumstances?

“The only remaining option … is to attempt to climb down the balcony to escape Gable Tostee.

“If you’re persuaded the defendant’s conduct instilled in Warriena Wright such fear, such terror as to leave her with no better option than to attempt to escape Gable Tostee by climbing down, then he has caused her death as much as if he had pushed her from the balcony himself.”

The court previously heard Tostee would neither give evidence nor call his own witnesses.

The defence is giving its closing address.