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Tinder Trial: Gable Tostee Found Not Guilty Of Warriena Wright's Murder

Tostee is a free man.

20/10/2016 4:30 PM AEDT | Updated 20/10/2016 7:04 PM AEDT
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Fairfax: Dan Peled
Gable Tostee has been awaiting a verdict for days.

Queensland man Gable Tostee has been found not guilty of Warriena Wright's murder after the New Zealand woman fell off his apartment balcony in August 2014.

Tostee, 30, has been on trial for nine days at the Brisbane Supreme Court and pleaded not guilty to murder after Wright fell from his 14th floor Surfers Paradise apartment during a Tinder date.

The jury delivered a not guilty verdict on the charges of murder and manslaughter on Thursday, after four days of intense deliberations.

The jury returned with a verdict just before 2.30pm but it wasn't handed down until 4:20pm as the judge, Justice John Byrne, considered an additional legal issue after a juror communicated information on Instagram.

Justice Byrne told the court he was disappointed about the communication which led to conversations the jury could be discharged.

The Brisbane Supreme Court judge chose not to discharge the jury but said it took quite some time for the lawyers and himself to deal with the issue.

The decision was clearly a tough one for the jury of six men and six women, who could not reach an initial verdict and sent eight notes to the judge asking a number of questions about the case.

Tostee did not make a comment as he left the court but his lawyer, Nick Dore, gave a brief statement.

Fairfax: Supplied
26-year-old Warriena Wright.

After meeting on Tinder, Tostee and Wright met up in person on August 7, spending an evening together before ending up in an altercation which ended with Tostee locking the 26-year-old on the balcony.

At about 2.20am on August 8, Wright fell from the balcony to her death.

Tostee had recorded part of the argument on his phone, while CCTV footage showed the 30-year-old leaving his apartment through his basement and walking the streets alone after Wright fell. He did not call triple-zero, but instead called a lawyer and his father.

Speaking to The Project on Thursday night, Dore said he was unaware of why Tostee recorded the argument.

"I'm unaware as to why it was recorded. Luckily it was recorded. Otherwise if it wasn't, as Mr Holt said, no-one would have believed what transpired that night without the recording," Dore said on the program.

Toxicology reports show Wright had a blood alcohol level of 0.156, which is three times the legal driving limit in Australia.

Justice John Byrne told the jury on Monday to treat "context evidence" such as the CCTV footage with caution.

For the entire trial, Prosecutor Glen Cash QC has argued Tostee did not push Wright off the balcony, but threatened and intimidated her to the point where she felt the only option was to climb over the balcony.

So as the case comes to an end, here is what the court heard about the tragic night, which has made headlines since August 2014.

How The Evening Escalated

After talking on Tinder days before, Tostee and Wright met at around 8:45pm in the Cavill Mall at Surfers Paradise. CCTV footage aired in court showed the pair went to the Surfers Paradise Beer Garden briefly before walking to a nearby bottleshop to pick up a six-pack of beer.

The evening ended at Tostee's Surfers Paradise apartment on the 14th floor, where about four hours later, just after 2am, Wright fell to her death.

After drinking and having sex in the apartment, Tostee and Wright ended up in an argument which Tostee claimed ended in him locking the 26-year-old on the balcony.

"The last thing I remember is holding her down on the ground in my apartment and then she ran outside," the 30-year-old told his father on the phone after Wright fell.

Tostee did not give evidence in court.

The prosecution alleged Tostee restrained or "choked" Wright after she began throwing ornamental rocks at him when the verbal argument escalated.

Photos of Tostee's injuries were tendered to court during the trial, which include scratches on his knee, but a forensic officer was not able to clarify when the injuries occurred.

Fairfax: Tammy Law
Gable Tostee leaves court during the trial.

The Mobile Phone Recording

The court also heard a 199-minute recording from Tostee's phone during the night which document the final moments before Wright fell to her death. Tostee began recording around at 1am, when the argument escalated.

Parts of Tostee and Wright's conversation during the mobile phone recording from August 8, 2014:

Tostee: "I thought you were kidding and I have taken enough. This is f---ing bullshit. You are lucky I haven't chucked you off my balcony you goddamn psycho little b-tch."

Tostee: "You're a goddamn psycho. I am going to let you go. I am going to walk you out of this apartment just the way you are. You are not going to collect any of your belongings you are just going to walk out and I am going to slam the door on you do you understand. If you try and pull anything. I'll knock you out. I'll knock you the f--- out. Do you understand? Do you understand? Do you understand?"

Tostee: "Come on Get up. Get up."

Wright: "I am so sorry.

Tostee: "You tried to kill me huh? Well why did you try and hit me with that. Huh? Shut your filthy mouth."

Wright: "No. No. No No. No (screaming)."

Tostee: "It is all on recording you know. It is all being recorded."

Wright: "No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Just let me go home."

Tostee: "I would but you have been a bad girl."

Wright: "Just let me go home. Just let me go home. Just let me go home. Just let me go home."

After Wright Fell

Warriena Wright fell from the balcony at around 2.20am. The court heard from a number of Tostee's neighbours who claim they heard the 26-year-old screaming to go home with three people witnessing her fall.

Nick Casey told the court he instructed Ms Wright to go back inside as "you can't get down this way".

"It wasn't long after that she fell straight past where I was standing on the balcony, she ricocheted off a few balconies below," he said.

After Wright fell, Tostee left his apartment and the prosecution argued the 30-year-old walked the streets of Surfer's Paradise alone for an hour and ordered a slice of pizza.

CCTV footage tendered to court showed Tostee left through the basement car park and phone records showed the Queensland man didn't call triple-zero but criminal law firm Potts Lawyers at 2.21am.

Tostee then called his father at 3.23am where the court heard he said "Dad this is really f---ed up, why does this s--- keep happening to me."

"I swear to God I didn't push her, I just chucked her out on the balcony because she was beating me up.

"Oh my God, I hope she's not dead."

Tostee's father, Gray Tostee, picked him up at 3.44am.

On Tuesday Justice Byrne told the jury, when deciding on a murder or manslaughter charge, they should not consider Tostee's behaviour after Wright fell to her death.

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