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Judge answers Gable Tostee jury's questions

Tuesday 18 Oct 2016 5:18 p.m.

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The jury in the trial of Gable Tostee have been sent home for the day after failing to reach a unanimous verdict.

The jury told Justice John Byrne just after 3pm they were unable to reach a decision, but he told them to keep deliberating before sending them home in the evening.

Deliberations will continue on Wednesday.

Earlier on Tuesday, Justice Byrne answered a number of questions the jury had on the case.

The jurors had been tasked with considering a trio of possible verdicts: Murder, manslaughter or no conviction - but on Monday requested several clarifications from Justice Byrne after he'd finished summing up the case.

Thirty-year-old Tostee is on trial in the Brisbane Supreme Court after pleading not guilty to the murder of New Zealand tourist Warriena Wright, who fell to her death in the early hours of August 8, 2014.

It is not alleged Tostee threw or pushed Ms Wright, but that he intimidated her so greatly she felt the only way to escape was to climb down from the balcony of his 14th floor Surfers Paradise apartment.

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The jury asked the judge the age of the defendant on Monday, and earlier on Tuesday he responded by saying that neither the prosecution nor defence suggested that his age mattered, and that any assessment of his age must be "a matter of inference".

Jurors also wanted Justice Byrne to tell them what the long, silver item was in Tostee's hand, in CCTV footage that emerged of the hours after the incident.

He told them what Tostee was holding did not matter as there is no evidence beyond the footage of the item, and that they couldn't speculate on what the item was.

In addition, the jury also requested clarification on whether Ms Wright's level of intoxication and state of mind should be taken into account.

Justice Byrne said jurors of their accumulated life experience "scarcely need a judge to point out that excessive consumption of alcohol will impair a person's judgement".

He explained that there was no reason for Ms Wright's degree of intoxication to be disregarded, as it would help them come to a conclusion on whether her decision to climb the balcony was "reasonable, rational and proportional to conduct of the accused".

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During the trial, the court heard 26-year-old Ms Wright attacked Tostee with rocks in his own home, where they had spent the past few hours drinking and having sex after meeting on dating app Tinder.

An audio recording Tostee made on his mobile phone captured sounds of the physical struggle between the pair and Ms Wright's eventual death. The prosecution argues "gurgling noises" consistent with Ms Wright being choked or strangled can be heard on the tape.

Newshub.

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