Gable Tostee found not guilty of murder in Warriena Wright case

Gable Tostee outside the Brisbane Supreme Court (File)
Gable Tostee outside the Brisbane Supreme Court (File)

An Australian court has found Gable Tostee not guilty of the murder or manslaughter of New Zealander Warriena Wright, who fell to her death from his 14th floor balcony.

After four days of waiting for the jury to make a decision, friends and family of Mr Tostee gasped as the verdicts were read out. 

Mr Tostee emerged from Brisbane's Supreme Court with his lawyer shortly after the verdict was read where he was surrounded by media.

His lawyer read a short statement however Mr Tostee himself didn't say a word.

A family spokesperson for the Wright family spoke to media outside the court.

She said the family were still coming to terms with Ms Wright's death, as well as "enduring the anguish of being present" for the trial in Brisbane.

The 30-year-old was accused of driving New Zealand tourist Warriena Wright to her death by threatening and intimidating her in the early hours of August 8, 2014, after the pair had met through dating app Tinder.

Gable Tostee found not guilty of murder in Warriena Wright case

A selfie of Gable Tostee and Warriena Wright (File)

The trial in Brisbane's Supreme Court lasted more than a week, with 22 people giving evidence.

A key piece of evidence was more than three hours of secretly recorded audio that Mr Tostee had made the night they met.

Ms Wright could be heard screaming "no" repeatedly in the recording, and "leave me alone", before falling silent.

During the prosecution's summing up, Mr Tostee appeared to be in clear discomfort at hearing the audio, in which he could be heard verbally abusing Ms Wright and threatening her life.

"You're lucky I haven't thrown you off the balcony you goddamn psycho little b****. Who the f*** do you think you are?" Mr Tostee said in the recording.

Prosecutor Glen Cash argued Mr Tostee held Ms Wright down with his own body weight, then choked her for up to 45 seconds before locking her out on the balcony.

It left Ms Wright feeling her "only means of escape" was to try and climb down the exterior of the building, when she fell to her death.

But defense barrister Saul Holt QC said Ms Wright had been "out of control" and "massively drunk".

Gable Tostee found not guilty of murder in Warriena Wright case

The court was shown a reconstructed image of the moment Ms Wright fell (Newshub.)

The court heard Ms Wright, 26, had attacked Mr Tostee with rocks inside his Surfers Paradise apartment after they spent several hours drinking together.

In the audio recording Mr Tostee is heard saying: "I said you didn't have to leave, I just said stop beating me up," to which Ms Wright responded, "Are you going to untie me?"

Ms Wright threatened to break Mr Tostee's jaw and call the police if he didn't untie her.

The pair can be heard arguing in the recording, with Mr Tostee saying: "I don't deserve this s***, I'm a nice f****** guy," and later saying: "I'm the most tolerant person in the world."

Mr Holt said it wasn't foreseeable that Ms Wright would climb over the balcony's railing when she was locked out there, which showed how irrational she was.

Mr Tostee's defence team chose not to call any witnesses, nor did the jury hear from him.

His lawyers said the incident was a first date which went horribly wrong, claiming Ms Wright had been portrayed as an innocent victim and Mr Tostee as the Tinder killer, but said in reality, they both had flaws.

Ms Wright's death was a "desperate tragedy", the defence said.

Newshub.

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