Gable Tostee trial: Jury struggling to reach verdict over Tinder date murder charge.

By Louisa Rebgetz and Sharnie Kim

The jury in the Gable Tostee trial has indicated it is struggling to reach a verdict over whether he killed Tinder date Warriena Wright, who fell off his 14th floor Gold Coast apartment balcony.

Tostee, 30, could be found guilty of the murder or manslaughter of New Zealand tourist Warriena Wright.

In August 2014, the pair had been on a first date which turned violent and saw Tostee lock Ms Wright on the balcony of his 14-floor Surfers Paradise apartment.

Shortly after she fell to her death trying to scale the balcony.

The jury of six men and six women began deliberations yesterday afternoon, but sought extra instruction from Justice John Byrne this morning and again this afternoon.

Their deliberations continued until about 5.30pm this afternoon when they were sent home for the night, to meet again in the morning.

Justice Byrne said he would only discharge them if he was genuinely satisfied they could not reach a verdict after further deliberations.

“You are entitled to take as long as you wish to reach your verdict,” he said.

“Judges are usually reluctant to discharge a jury because experience has shown that juries can often agree if given enough time to consider and to discuss the issues.”

Justice Byrne reminded the jury to listen “carefully and objectively” to their fellow jurors.

“This often leads to a better understanding of the differences of opinion you may have and may convince you that your original opinion was wrong,” he said.

“That is not of course to suggest you can, consistently with your oath or affirmation as a juror, join in a verdict if you do not honestly and genuinely think that it is the correct one.”


He urged the jury to re-examine the matters they were disagreeing on, and sent them out to continue with their deliberations.

Jury seeks advice on role alcohol played

The jury had earlier in the day broke their deliberations twice to ask six questions for further direction from Justice Byrne.

Questions surrounded Tostee’s age and the whether to consider CCTV footage of Tostee holding a metal object when he left his apartment after the fatal fall.

Justice Byrne said while his age was irrelevant, in regards to the object, he told the jurors they should only assess information presented in the trial, adding there was no evidence beyond the CCTV footage.

“You should not speculate about evidence in this trial.”

The jury also asked a question about the consideration of Ms Wright’s state of mind and level of intoxication when she died.

He said the degree of her intoxication should bare on their consideration on whether her decision to climb over the balcony was “a reasonable, rational or proportional response to the accused’s conduct”.

The jury also asked for clarification on whether a home owner’s right to remove a person behaving in a disorderly manner includes the balcony.

Justice Byrne said “it did not matter when” Tostee began removing Ms Wright from his property, and the only issue the jury should be concerned with was whether he used excessive force.

“You must find the accused not guilty of murder or manslaughter unless you are persuaded beyond reasonable doubt that the accused used more force than was reasonably necessary to remove Warriena Wright from the lounge to the balcony of his unit,” he said.

This post originally appeared on ABC News.

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