News State QLD News Gable Tostee found not guilty of balcony murder
Updated:

Gable Tostee found not guilty of balcony murder

Gable Tostee and Warriena Wright just hours before the New Zealand tourist fell to her death. Photo: Queensland Police Service. Photo: Queensland Police Service
Share
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

Balcony murder accused Gable Tostee has been found not guilty of the murder or manslaughter of New Zealand tourist Warriena Wright who fell to her death from Mr Tostee’s 14th-floor Gold Coast apartment.

The Supreme Court jury in the murder trial had struggled to reach a verdict, but finally did so after four days of deliberation.

The six men and six women jurors deliberated since early Monday afternoon on whether Mr Tostee murdered Ms Wright in August 2014.

The pair had met through the dating app Tinder.

Jurors rejected the Crown’s case that Mr Tostee had intimidated the New Zealand tourist, terrifying the 26-year-old so much as to cause her to scale his balcony to escape.

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

On Wednesday it asked Brisbane Supreme Court Justice John Byrne if language was considered force, to which he replied no.

Justice Byrne allowed the jury to go home overnight and return on Thursday morning at 9.30am to continue its deliberations.

Lawyer Nick Dore speaks with Gable Tostee (right) before entering the Supreme Court in Brisbane, Thursday. Photo: AAP.
Lawyer Nick Dore speaks with Gable Tostee (right) before entering the Supreme Court in Brisbane, Thursday. Photo: AAP.

The jurors indicated on Tuesday afternoon they were having difficulties reaching a decision but were told by Justice Byrne to persevere.

“Experience has shown juries can often agree if given enough time to consider and discuss the issues,” he said.

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

An audio recording taken by Mr 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.

In it Mr Tostee can be heard restraining Ms Wright and telling her: “You are lucky I haven’t chucked you off my balcony you goddamn psycho little bitch”.

Justice Byrne has told the jurors they could find Mr Tostee guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter if they concluded he unlawfully killed Ms Wright but did not intend to cause her possibly fatal harm.

During their deliberations, the jury had been warned not to take into account Mr Tostee’s actions after the fatal fall.

He first called his lawyer, rather than triple-0, left his apartment via the basement and walked around the local nightclub precinct and bought a slice of pizza.

Juror’s social media posts prompt mistrial application

Earlier on Thursday afternoon, Mr Tostee’s defence made an application for a mistrial after a juror was found to have made several posts to the social media site, Instagram.

A juror discussing the Gable Tostee murder trial on Instagram.
A juror discussing the Gable Tostee murder trial on Instagram.

The person identified themselves as deliberating on the Tostee trial, making comments such as “ready for another hard day”.

“I’ve snagged a nasty one, so it’s a bit full on,” the juror wrote, while locating themselves at the Supreme Court in Brisbane.

Justice Byrne rejected the mistrial application, ruling the communication did not show bias, nor did the juror discuss evidence.

He added he was disappointed the juror did not heed his directions not to comment to the case, especially on social media.

-with ABC

Comments
View Comments