Posted: 17 October, 2016 by AAP

Jury Retires To Decide Verdict In Gable Tostee Case

The Supreme Court jury hearing the the murder trial of Gold Coast man Gable Tostee has retired to consider its verdict.

Tostee, 30, stood trial in the Brisbane Supreme Court for six days after pleading not guilty to the murder of New Zealand woman Warriena Wright.

Ms Wright fell to her death in the early hours of August 8, 2014 after Tostee allegedly intimidated her so greatly she felt the only way to escape was by climbing over the balcony railing of his 14th floor Surfers Paradise apartment.

A jury of six men and six women retired at 12:35pm on Monday to deliberate whether to convict Tostee of murder or manslaughter or to acquit him on both charges.

An audio recording Tostee made on his mobile phone that captured the violent struggle between the pair and Ms Wright's eventual death has been the key piece of evidence in the trial.

It is not known why Tostee made the recording.

Prosecutor Glen Cash had argued Tostee could be heard choking Ms Wright for up to 45 seconds on the recording, something the defence disputes, before he locked her out on the balcony, cutting off her only means of escape.

"Just let me go home, just let me go home," Ms Wright said in the recording.

"I would but you've been a bad girl," Tostee replied.

Mr Cash said Ms Wright was experiencing such terror, bordering on hysteria, that it was foreseeable she would have climbed over the balcony railing to escape.

But defence barrister Saul Holt argued Ms Wright, who was three times over the legal driving limit, said and did things in the lead-up to the her clash with Tostee that were irrational beyond overly drunkenness.

Mr Holt said Tostee acted in "self defence" to remove the disorderly Ms Wright from his apartment and putting her on the balcony was an attempt to de-escalate the situation.

The judge earlier told the jury they cannot find him guilty of murder just because he called a lawyer and left via the basement after Ms Wright died.

He also walked around the Gold Coast entertainment precinct for about an hour and bought a pizza before calling his father Gray Tostee to pick him up.

Justice John Byrne told the jury in his directions on Monday they could not find Tostee guilty just because they think the should have behaved differently.

"It would be wrong for you to use any of the evidence ... as a base for the prosecution for murder," Justice Byrne said.

Justice Byrne quoted Hollywood director Billy Wilder to warn the jury "hindsight is always twenty-twenty".

He said they must not judge Tostee's actions on that fatal night if he had the benefit of safety and time to make decisions.

The court has heard the jury can only find Tostee guilty of murder if they are satisfied beyond reasonable doubt he had the intention to cause her grievous bodily harm, which the prosecution alleges happened when he choked her for up to 45 seconds.

A guilty verdict of manslaughter is also available to the jury if they find he unlawfully killed Ms Wright but did not have the intention to cause her GBH.

AAP

 

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