Balcony death accused not in court

SUSPICIOUS DEATH: Warriena Tagpuno Wright fell from the balcony of a Surfers' Paradise high-rise apartment building.
SUSPICIOUS DEATH: Warriena Tagpuno Wright fell from the balcony of a Surfers' Paradise high-rise apartment building.

The man accused of murder over Warriena Tagpuno Wright's fatal fall from a 14th storey balcony on the Gold Coast was absent at his first court hearing this morning.

Gable Tostee's legal team was in the Southport Magistrates Court, but no family or supporters of either  Tostee or the New Zealand tourist were in court.

Wright, who went by the name Rrie, died a week ago after falling from Tostee's 14th-floor balcony at the Avalon Apartments in Surfers Paradise.


His neighbours reported hearing screams before she plunged from the high-rise about 2.20am last Friday.

Tostee, a Surfers Paradise body-builder, was arrested at his parents' home in Carrara, according to reports.

Photographs later emerged of a handcuffed Tostee, in a white shirt and dark shorts, being led into the Gold Coast police station.

Wright's body has since been returned to her family.

This morning Magistrate John Constanzo remanded Tostee in custody to appear via video link at Southport Magistrates Court on October 10.

Tostee's legal team was not required to enter a plea on his behalf. No application for bail was made, however Tostee's legal representatives have previously indicated they would apply for bail at a later date.

Outside court Tostee's lawyer, Michael Purcell, said his client maintained his innocence and looked forward to seeing the brief of evidence.

"My client maintains his innocence and we look forward to the provision of a brief of evidence so my client can move on with the court process," Purcell said.

"I've got instructions to make an application in the Supreme Court for bail in the weeks to come."

Wright was in Australia for a fortnight to catch up with friends and attend a wedding. It is understood she met Tostee through the popular smartphone dating app Tinder.

Tostee took to a bodybuilding forum this week to say he was devastated by the death, and to deny having anything to do with Wright's fall.

"I absolutely did NOT cause this girl to fall and that I am devastated about what happened to her," he wrote.

On the same site he said he had taken home about 150 girls from clubs during the past few years.

Brisbane Times