Gable Tostee has been found not guilty of the murder of his Tinder date Warriena Wright.
It was announced last week that the 30-year-old Australian had pleaded not guilty to the murder and manslaughter of 26-year-old Wright, who he had begun speaking to on Tinder just six days before meeting.
Wright, who was on a two week holiday for a friend’s wedding, met up with Tostee on 7th August 2014, when the two went to a pub before going back to his Surfers Paradise apartment.
Things began to take a turn for the worse when the two began arguing in the early hours of the 8th August – a moment that was captured by a recording on Tostee’s phone.
The 199-minute mobile recording, which was the main source of evidence in the case, revealed the change in atmosphere, as Wright grew increasingly erratic and threw decorative rocks and hit Tostee with a telescope.
Enraged, Tostee is heard saying: “You’re lucky I haven’t chucked you off my balcony you god damn psycho bitch.
“You’re not going to collect any belongings, you’re just going to walk out. If you try to pull anything I’ll knock you out, I’ll knock you the f*** out — do you understand?”
This led to Tostee locking Wright outside, where witnesses reported hearing Wright shouting: “No, no, no, please let me go home.”
Just moments later, Wright fell from the 14th floor balcony to her death.
This evidence was used by the crown to suggest that Tostee had frightened Wright to such a degree that she felt the only escape was to climb down from the balcony.
However, the jury of six women and six men have found Tostee not guilty of Wright’s murder and the lesser charge of manslaughter, which could have seen him serve a life sentence in prison.
This decision was made following the instruction of Justice John Byrne, who said that a guilty ruling shouldn’t be made based on opinions of how Tostee could have better handled the situation.
And the 12 were also instructed that he should only be found guilty if they were sure beyond reasonable doubt that he had intentions to cause Wright grievous bodily harm, or that he had unlawfully killed her.
The jury spent four days deliberating the case before announcing the not guilty charge.
Although Tostee did not speak to the hoards of press awaiting his exit from court, his lawyer Nick Dore expressed relief on his behalf, saying he is: “Relieved this matter is now behind him and is looking forward to moving on with his life.”