News State QLD News Tostee jury sent home for the night

Tostee jury sent home for the night

Gable Tostee
Gable Tostee makes his way to the Supreme Court in Brisbane. Photo: AAP
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The jury in the murder trial of Gable Tostee will take their deliberations into a fourth day after remaining unable to reach a verdict.

The Brisbane Supreme Court jury has been deliberating for three days as to whether Tostee, 30, is guilty of the murder or manslaughter of his New Zealand Tinder date Warriena Wright in the early hours of August 8, 2014.

The six men and six women jurors were sent home by Justice John Byrne on Wednesday night.

Justice Byrne had told them on Tuesday to persevere after they said they were struggling to reach a unanimous verdict.

The jury has asked a total of seven questions since they retired on Monday.

On Wednesday the jury passed its fourth note to the judge asking “is language to be considered force?”

Justice Byrne told them it wasn’t.

In the first instance, the questions included Tostee’s age at the time of the incident, if they should consider how drunk Ms Wright was, and the nature of an item in Tostee’s hand seen on CCTV footage after she died.

Justice Byrne told the jury they should not consider Tostee’s conduct after the alleged offence as part of their reasoning to reach a verdict of murder or manslaughter.

He also said as Tostee’s age was not part of the evidence and they must not draw any conclusions from it.

However, the jury was allowed to consider if Ms Wright’s state of mind was influenced by alcohol, the court heard.

Later the jury asked two more questions relating to Tostee’s possible defence as a home owner acting to remove a disorderly person from his apartment.

Tostee is alleged to have intimidated the 26-year-old tourist so greatly that she felt the only way to escape him was to climb over the railing of his 14th floor balcony.

A six-day trial had heard Tostee and Ms Wright met on dating app Tinder for a night of drinking and sex.

An audio recording taken by Tostee on his mobile phone that captured the violent struggle between the pair and Ms Wright’s eventual death was a key piece of evidence in the case.

Prosecutor Glen Cash said Tostee caused Ms Wright’s death “as much as if he had pushed her from the balcony himself”.

Mr Cash alleged Tostee could be heard choking Ms Wright for up to 45 seconds in the recording despite pathologist Dianne Little testifying there was no evidence Ms Wright was strangled before she died.

But defence barrister Saul Holt had argued Tostee was acting within his legal right to defend himself and his property from further assaults from Ms Wright, who had thrown decorative rocks at him.

Mr Holt said Tostee de-escalated the situation by locking Ms Wright out on the balcony and it was not foreseeable she would climb over the balcony in darkness to “certain death”.