BREAKING: Gable Tostee found not guilty of murder
GABLE Tostee, the Gold Coast carpet layer labelled the "Tinder killer" after a dating dalliance ended in death has been found not guilty of murder or manslaughter.
The 30-year-old has been on trial in Brisbane Supreme Court charged with the murder of Warriena Wright, 26, who plunged 14 storeys from his Surfers Paradise apartment in the early hours of August 8, 2014.
The jury took four days of deliberations to reach its decision.
Mr Tostee had recorded audio of his meeting with Ms Wright on his phone for about one and half hours, evidence which the case has turned upon.
Ms Wright had met Mr Tostee only hours before, after making connection with him via the dating app Tinder.
They met in Surfers Paradise and went back to his apartment, where they had sex, and began arguing.
Crown Prosecutor Glen Cash alleged as the drunken altercation escalated, Mr Tostee restrained Ms Wright's breathing, locked her out on his balcony and caused her such fear, it was reasonable for her to climb off it to the apartment below in an attempt to flee for her life.
Mr Cash argued Mr Tostee intended to cause Ms Wright grievous bodily harm by restricting her breath.
The Crown alleged she was so intimidated by this, and his actions of forcing her out on to the balcony and locking the door, that she felt she had to climb down from Mr Tostee's balcony to seek safety.
While there was never any allegation Mr Tostee had physically pushed or thrown her, the Crown alleged he had caused her death.
The jury did not agree, Mr Tostee was found not guilty of murder or manslaughter just before 3.30pm Queensland time today.
Defence barrister Saul Holt had argued Mr Tostee had been caught up in a tragic "first date that went horribly wrong".
He said Mr Tostee's actions were lawful, and the jury agreed.
Mr Holt said Mr Tostee was permitted to restrain and force Ms Wright outside, as he was acting to "remove a disorderly person from his property".
He said shutting and locking her on the balcony was a "de-escalation", intended to intervene in an altercation that had got out of control.
His defence argued Ms Wright's behaviour, which included various threats of violence, was "very weird", and Mr Tostee had reacted reasonably and had tried to de-escalate the situation by shutting Ms Wright out on the balcony.
The jury agreed.
The trial, which has run for almost two weeks, has captured the attention of more than one nation, as at the time of her death Warriena Wright was on holidays from her New Zealand home.
Her grieving family has been in the Brisbane court daily, watching as the justice system examines the tragedy.
They now have an answer as to who carries the responsibility for her loss.
The jury retired to consider the verdict on Monday morning.
Jurors returned after deliberating for four hours to ask Justice John Byrne four questions, including if Ms Wright's drunkenness at the time of her death should be considered.
They also queried, but were told not to consider, what Mr Tostee could be seen carrying out of his apartment on CCTV footage, shortly after Ms Wright's death.
During the six days of evidence, the jury heard audio of Ms Wright's terrified screams, just moments before her death, as well as that of her making a 'gurgling' noise for about 45 seconds, during which time it was alleged Mr Tostee was restraining her.
There were no marks on Ms Wright's neck indicating she had been manually strangled, but pathologist Dianne Little said there were chokehold options that would not leave marks.
The jury heard Mr Tostee tell her she could not go home after she requested to, saying "I would but you've been a bad girl".
They have also heard an obviously drunk Ms Wright tell Mr Tostee she would "destroy his jaw", that she threw stones at him, as well what his defence alleged was Mr Tostee being struck on the head by a metal telescope.
They have heard she climbed over the balcony within seconds of being shut out of the apartment, and when told to climb back up said she just "wanted to go home".
Ms Wright never made it back.
- ARM NEWSDESK