News State QLD News Coroner reopens probe into Warriena Wright death

Coroner reopens probe into Warriena Wright death

Gable Tostee and Warriena Wright
Gable Tostee and Warriena Wright just hours before her death. Photo: Queensland Police Service
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Just two months after Gable Tostee was found not guilty in the death of New Zealand woman Warriena Wright, the Queensland state coroner has reopened the investigation into her balcony death.

Ms Wright died during a Tinder date with the Gold Coast man, who was found not guilty of murder or manslaughter after a two-week trial in Brisbane Supreme Court in October.

Ms Wright fell to her death from Mr Tostee’s 14th-floor apartment.

Following the verdict, police referred the case back to coroner Terry Ryan, who confirmed this week that his investigation had been reopened.

“The Coroner will be reviewing all the documentation before making a decision whether to hold an inquest,” a State Coroner’s Office spokesman told News Corp.

“Any charges are (then) a matter for the DPP [Department of Public Prosecutions].”

Legal sources told News Corp that a charge such as deprivation of liberty could still potentially be recommended by the coroner in the case.

The New Daily has contacted the Queensland coroner’s office to confirm the investigation into Ms Wright’s death has been reopened.

Ms Wright died in August 2014 after falling from the 14th floor of Mr Tostee’s Surfers Paradise apartment.

Mr Tostee, who last year legally changed his name to Eric Thomas, had locked Ms Wright on the balcony after a heated argument.

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.

His lawyers told the court during the trial that Ms Wright chose to “climb to certain death” by scaling the balcony.

“This was a climb that couldn’t work unless you were Spiderman,” defence barrister Saul Holt QC told the court.

Mr Tostee gave an interview to 60 Minutes in November, just weeks after his not guilty verdict was handed down.

Gable Tostee
Gable Tostee is now free after being found not guilty of murder or manslaughter. Photo: AAP

In the interview, Mr Tostee attempted to explain various perceived holes in his version of events, including why he locked Ms Wright on his balcony and not simply kick her out of the apartment.

He was also pressed on why he made an audio recording of the entire date on his phone.

Mr Tostee said he often lost his memory when he drank alcohol, and the recording had been a safety net.

“It’s more of a just-in-case thing … you’re better off having it than not having it,” he said. “In this day and age, it’s as easy as pressing a button.”

Gable Tostee during his 60 Minutes interview. Photo: Nine Network

The recording ultimately helped Mr Tostee walk away from the charges, but several sections presented him in a dark light.

At one stage, Mr Tostee yelled at Ms Wright: “You’re lucky I haven’t chucked you off the balcony.”

He admitted they were a “horrible choice of words”.

“I know how it looks,” he said.

Mr Tostee was also been criticised for leaving his apartment to order pizza and calling his father and lawyer before calling for help for Ms Wright. The Queenslander said he was extremely drunk and needed to “clear his head”.

“What had happened, had happened,” he said. “There was nothing an ambulance could do to change that.”

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