News State QLD News The Gold Coast balcony death in Gable Tostee’s own words
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The Gold Coast balcony death in Gable Tostee’s own words

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Gable Tostee leaves court after being found not guilty of murder or manslaughter. Photo: AAP
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Last week the Supreme Court found Gable Tostee not guilty of killing his Tinder date, Warriena Wright, in August 2014. With the court case done, it is now possible to publish a candid account from Mr Tostee about what happened the night Ms Wright died.

It was written four months after Ms Wright fell from Gable Tostee’s Gold Coast apartment balcony. It details his version of what happened that night.

Gable Tostee posted it on a bodybuilding forum and you can read the full post here.

The night Ms Wright died started pretty normally. The pair met met after chatting on Tinder and cruised back to Mr Tostee’s Surfers Paradise apartment.

According to Mr Tostee’s post it was supposed to be relaxed and fun.

“At first we got along great but as the night continued, her behaviour became strange and she became increasingly aggressive. I’m not sure whether she found it amusing but it was getting out of hand. She kept hitting me, taunting me, throwing my stuff around and trashing my apartment.”

Four hours after entering the 14th floor apartment Ms Wright fell from the balcony.

Gable Tostee was charged with murder and pleaded not guilty. While he didn’t take the stand, a recording he took of the evening, and Ms Wright’s final moments, was played to the court.

Why did he record everything?

The audio recording of the evening Warriena Wright died was presented as a key piece of evidence against Gable Tostee during the trial.

In the recording Mr Tostee and Ms Wright can be heard drinking and chatting as music plays in the background. However, some time later, Ms Wright is heard hitting Mr Tostee who yells out in pain.

A police shot of Gable Tostee's Surfers Paradise apartment. Photo: AAP
A police shot of Gable Tostee’s Surfers Paradise apartment. Photo: AAP

During the trial, Crown prosecutor Glen Cash said Mr Tostee becomes increasingly angry in the recording, while Ms Wright sounds more fearful.

In his 2014 post Tostee says his decision to record his date with Ms Wright was not unusual.

“I regularly made audio recordings of my drunk nights on the town in case something happened.

“I kept them for myself but didn’t need to listen to them 99% of the time.

“It’s so easy to do using a smartphone and comes at such a small cost, and sometimes the recordings have been invaluable.”

Tostee denies choking Ms Wright

Forensic pathologist Dr Dianne Little told the court she found more than 80 separate injuries on Ms Wright after she fell from the balcony.

Dr Little, who works for the Gold Coast University Hospital, conducted the autopsy on Ms Wright three days after her fatal fall.

While the prosecution alleged Gable Tostee had tried to strangle Ms Wright, Dr Little said the areas of reddening around her neck were more likely caused by the fall than strangulation.

Gable Tostee and Warriena Wright just hours before the New Zealand tourist fell to her death. Photo: Queensland Police Service.
Gable Tostee and Warriena Wright just hours before the New Zealand tourist fell to her death. Photo: Queensland Police Service.

Mr Tostee denied he strangled Ms Wright in his 2014 post.

“For the last couple of hours with her most of my efforts were spent trying to placate her in the hope that she would calm down. I have always been happy to have girls stay overnight but eventually her behaviour became too overbearing and I decided I wanted her to leave. I tried to make her leave but instead of leaving she grabbed a nearby metal object and tried to swing it at me.

“This is where the alleged “choking” sounds began. I never deliberately choked her or put my hands around her neck, all I did was try to remove the weapon from her. If I wanted to choke her out then it probably wouldn’t have been hard, but I did not do that as I did not want to hurt her. A less forgiving man could have quite conceivably exercised less restraint and retaliated violently.

“I did what I did to prevent further physical conflict and de-escalate the situation as best as I could.”

Why the balcony?

There was never any allegation Mr Tostee had pushed or thrown Ms Wright over the balcony of his apartment, but the prosecution alleged Ms Wright had no other means of escaping other than climbing over the balcony, and she fell to her death when she tried to do so.

But how did she get out there in the first place?

A Queensland Police Service officer hangs her legs off Gable Tostee's Surfers Paradise balcony in a re-enactment in 2014 of Warriena Wright's fatal fall. Photo: Queensland Police Service
A Queensland Police Service officer hangs her legs off Gable Tostee’s Surfers Paradise balcony in a re-enactment in 2014 of Warriena Wright’s fatal fall. Photo: Queensland Police Service

In his post Mr Tostee says he pushed Ms Wright onto the balcony after their altercation because the front door was too far away and too hard to keep open.

He says the plan was to keep her out there until he could call security or the police to take her out of the apartment, but never expected what happened next.

“After shutting the door I turned my back and retreated, and literally about 10 seconds later when I turned around and looked through the glass I only briefly for a fraction of a second saw Warriena on the other side of the railing before she disappeared out of view.

“She never tried to get back in, bang on the door or even cry out to me or anyone else. She climbed over without any warning. I was too far away to react. At the time I couldn’t tell if she had fallen or climbed down to another floor. All I knew was that she was no longer there.

“How could anybody possibly expect someone to fall to their death within seconds of being on a balcony without any warning? It is not as if I locked her there and left her for hours.

“I was in disbelief.”

He went and got pizza?

After Ms Wright fell from his apartment the court heard Gable Tostee wandered into Surfers Paradise and ordered a slice of pizza.

Here’s his explanation on that:

“I did not ‘flee’ the scene as it has been claimed. I went downstairs to see if I could find out what happened.

“When I reached the lobby I saw flashing emergency lights coming from outside. At this point it dawned on me that something serious had happened. I was terrified, exhausted, intoxicated, and quite disorientated and all I wanted to do was get advice.

“I knew if I walked into police I could have been held under suspicion without legal representation, a situation nobody would want to be in. I resorted to leaving the building and calling my Dad.

“It’s easy for readers to say what they would have done given hindsight, but it is impossible to know how you would react if you weren’t there.

“While I was waiting to meet my Dad I bought a slice of pizza to curb my hunger and anxiety. It was the most convenient thing I could find at that hour. Anyone familiar with the area will know that there are pizza venues that sell slices over the counter on every corner.

“The suggestion that I casually or leisurely indulged in a meal is absolutely outrageous. I was anything but casual. I had to eat because I was hungry, anxious, and intoxicated, and a slice of pizza was the easiest meal I could find.”

You can read Gable Tostee’s post from 2014 in full here.

– ABC

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