After days of deliberation, the jury in the Gable Tostee murder trial has reached a verdict, and found him not guilty of the murder or manslaughter of Warriena Wright.
ABC News reports the jurors rejected the Crown's case that Gable Tostee had intimidated the victim to her death. The defence had argued that he was acting in self-defence, trying to prevent further attacks by locking her on the balcony.
To find him guilty of manslaughter, the jury had to find that he unlawfully killed Warriena Wright by intimidating her to scale the balcony to try and escape.
To find him guilty of murder, they had to prove he had intended to cause her grievous bodily harm by stopping her from breathing for 45 seconds before he pushed her out onto the balcony.
Jurors were unable to reach a unanimous verdict on Tuesday, seeking clarification on four points in the trial.
And on Wednesday afternoon, the jury once asked Justice John Byrne for further clarification on whether language should be considered force.
“The short answer is ‘No,’” said Justince Byrne, according to News.com.au.
Going on to explain, he said that “only the physical force used by Tostee to move Warriena Wright onto his balcony should be regarded as force,” according to News.com.au.
On Tuesday, jurors sought clarification on four points in the trial.
One of these questions was: what was the long metal object Tostee was carrying as he left his Gold Coast apartment following Warriena Wright’s death?
The jury also sought clarification on Tostee’s age and, most tellingly, whether Ms Wright’s state of mind at the time she fell was important, report news.com. They asked if her intoxication was something they had to consider as to whether her decision to climb over the balcony was unreasonable and irrational.
Ms Wright, who had a blood alcohol reading of 0.156 — more than three times the safe driving limit — plunged to her death from Tostee’s 14th floor Gold Coast apartment after Tostee locked her on his balcony. She was attempting to climb to the balcony below when she fell.
As the jury deliberations resumed, the judge told the jury that the object Tostee was carrying was irrelevant to their decision. He also urged them not to consider Tostee’s seemingly nonchalant behaviour following Ms Wright’s death as an indication that he may be guilty.
“It would be wrong for you to use any of the evidence of what he did as advancing the prosecution case for murder or manslaughter and I direct you not to,” he said.
CCTV footage showed during the trial revealed Tostee left his apartment to avoid emergency services who had raced to the scene, opting instead to walk around the Surfers Paradise for an hour, even stopping to eat a pizza.
The jury had been advised not to take his actions after her death into account in their verdict.