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Woman fell from 14th floor balcony “trying to escape from Tinder date”

Warriena Wright
Warriena Wright

A New Zealand tourist plunged to her death from a 14th floor balcony because she was so intimidated by a Tinder date, an Australian court has heard.

Gable Tostee, is accused of killing 26-year-old New Zealand tourist Warriena Wright during a date arranged through popular dating app Tinder.

A court in Australia that Tostee threatened and strangled the woman after they had met for the first time and had gone back to his apartment.

Ms Wright allegedly fell to her death in fear and was attempting to climb from a balcony when she slipped.

In a disturbing recording of the encounter that was found on Tostee’s phone, he could be heard saying: "You're lucky I haven't chucked you off my balcony you God damn psycho b----. You're not going to collect any belongings, you're just going to walk out.”

The pair had made contact on Tinder six days before the incident and had agreed to meet at a surf shop in a busy nightclub district near Tostee’s apartment in Surfers Paradise, a popular beachside holiday destination.

They met at 8.45pm on February 7, 2014, and bought beer before returning to Tostee’s apartment, where they were recorded talking about God, ninjas and the film Forrest Gump.

Glen Cash, the prosecutor, told the Supreme Court in Brisbane that they had engaged in drinking and had been intimate before altercation took place early on the Friday morning.

During the audio recording played to the court, Ms Wright could be heard asking to leave several times but the pair continued to drink and talk.

At one point, she told him: “Are you going to f---ing untie me because I will f---ing destroy your jaw."

He is heard to say: "I should have never given you so much to drink... 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?"

Mr Cash said the prosecution was not alleging that Tostee had thrown or pushed Ms Wright but that he threatened her and left her with no other choice but to try to escape by climbing down from the locked balcony.

The accused has pleaded not guilty and denied strangling Ms Wright, insisting that he restrained her in self-defence.

His lawyer Saul Holt QC claimed that Ms Wright, who was visiting Australia for a two-week holiday, became violent and threw decorative rocks at him as well as hitting him with a clamp from a telescope.

"What happened in this case is nothing like murder or manslaughter, it doesn't fit," Mr Holt told the court.

"She is outside, he is inside and he has caused a locked door to be between the two of them.”

Gabriele Collyer-Wiedner, a retiree who lived in the apartment below Tostee’s, claims she was woken be the sound of banging furniture at 2am.

She said she could see a pair of feet  dangling from the balcony above.

"Legs came down and dangled in the air," she told the court.

"I froze there, then the body fell on my balcony railing. I screamed and somebody else screamed, I assumed it was her voice.”

Following Ms Wright’s fall to the driveway below, Tostee attempted to call his lawyer and then called his father.

“She kept beating me up and whatever," he could be heard telling his father in the audio recording.

"I forced her out onto the balcony and I think she might have jumped off."

The case continues on today and further extracts of the audio recording are due to be played to the jury.