Gable Tostee Found Not Guilty Of Killing Warriena Wright On Tinder Date


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Gable Tostee has been found not guilty of killing Tinder date Warriena Wright, who fell to her death from his 14th-floor apartment balcony on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

A Supreme Court jury in Brisbane had struggled to reach a verdict, but it finally acquitted Mr Tostee of both murder and manslaughter, with the decision handed down just hours after defence lawyers called for a mistrial.

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.

During the week-long trial, the defence described the proposition as nonsense, arguing Mr Tostee, who declined to give evidence, had merely tried to stop further attacks from his erratic and violent house guest by locking her outside.

It argued he should not have had to bear criminal responsibility for her irrational decision to climb over the balcony railing.

Mr Tostee’s parents gasped and cried when the not guilty verdict was delivered.

Outside court, Mr Tostee’s lawyer Nick Dore said his client was very happy with the result.

“He’s relieved this matter is now behind him and he’s looking forward to moving on with his life,” Mr Dore said as Mr Tostee stood silently by his side.

“He thanks all those people who have supported him through this and realises just how tragic this has been for many people.

“At this stage, he’s looking forward to putting it behind him and considering his future from here.”

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.

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.

‘This was not a conventional investigation’

Despite Mr Tostee being acquitted, Police Detective Inspector Damien Hansen praised homicide detectives, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and made particular mention of the Wright family for the “strength and courage” it showed during the court proceedings.

“This was not a conventional homicide investigation, it was always acknowledged that it’d be a very difficult investigation from the start,” he said.

“This matter will now be referred to the state coroner and as such I will not be commenting on any aspects of the investigation.”

Wright family spokeswoman Deb Taylor said the trial had been “incredibly traumatic”.

“As you may appreciate, Warriena Wright’s family are still coming to terms with the loss of their daughter and their sister, as well as enduring the anguish of being present here for this trial this last two weeks,” Ms Taylor said.

“They’ve been quite overwhelmed by the media, which has added another layer of stress to the trauma that they’ve already been experiencing.

“The family would like to make a request to all of you that you please respect their privacy now and when they return back to New Zealand, so they have an opportunity to put the pieces of their own lives back together again.”

Tinder date quickly unravelled

Mr Tostee’s decision to start secretly recording their date inside his apartment an hour before Ms Wright’s fatal fall was key evidence in the trial.

If the six men and six women on the jury were to have found Mr Tostee guilty of manslaughter, they had to find he unlawfully killed Ms Wright by intimidating her into trying to escape.

To find the 30-year-old guilty of murder, they needed to conclude Mr Tostee intended to cause Ms Wright grievous bodily harm by obstructing her breathing for 45 seconds, before forcing her onto the balcony.

During 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.

Mr Gable Tostee and Ms Wright had been on their first date the night she died, after meeting on the dating app Tinder.

After having sex at Mr Tostee’s Surfers Paradise unit the pair had a violent drunken fight.

Prosecutor Glen Cash QC argued while Ms Wright had probably unlawfully assaulted Mr Tostee just prior to being locked outside, his response was disproportionate and unlawful.

He physically restrained and restricted Ms Wright’s throat with his forearm, the prosecution alleged, and was recorded saying she was lucky he had not thrown her off the balcony.

“If you try and pull anything, I’ll knock you out, I’ll knock you the f— out. Do you understand?” he was recorded saying.

Mr Cash said Mr Tostee’s intimidating conduct left Ms Wright feeling like she had no means of escape other than scaling the balcony.

She screamed “no” 33 times in 45 seconds.

Mr Cash said the “panic and desperation” in Ms Wright’s voice moments before she fell “[spoke] more powerfully than [he] ever could about the cause of her death”.

But the defence argued the crown case was “nonsensical”, and Ms Wright, who had been erratic and “out of control” during the evening, had essentially decided to “climb to certain death”.

Barrister Saul Holt QC said Mr Gable Tostee had ordered Ms Wright to leave his apartment via the front door, but she hit him with the metal part of a telescope, after which he grabbed her and put her behind the “nearest lockable door”.

He said Ms Wright climbed over the balcony railing just seconds after, something that was neither rational nor reasonably foreseeable.

Mr Holt told the jury it was irrelevant whether they thought it was “weird” or morally questionable for Mr Tostee to record the date, “but thank goodness he did“.

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