'Creepy' murder suspect remanded

Warriena Wright.
Warriena Wright.
Accused balcony killer Gable Tostee will seek bail in the Supreme Court after being remanded in custody over the death of a 26-year-old Lower Hutt woman who plunged 14 floors to her death from a Gold Coast high rise last week.

Tostee was arrested and charged with murder yesterday, exactly a week after Warriena Tagpuno Wright fell to her death from the balcony of his luxury apartment at the Avalon tower in Surfers Paradise.

He was spared an appearance in Southport Magistrates Court today when his lawyer, former police prosecutor Mick Purcell, said he was not required in the dock, the Sunday Mail reported.

Magistrate John Costanzo remanded Tostee in custody until October 10 and ordered police provide a brief of evidence by September 30.

Outside court, Mr Purcell told Sunday Mail that Tostee "maintains his innocence".

"We look forward to receiving the brief of evidence so we can move on with the court process," he said.

"I have instructions to make application for bail in the Supreme Court in the weeks to come."

Tostee's parents, Gray and Helene, were not in court to support him, Sunday Mail reported.

Earlier, the Weekend Herald reported Tostee was well known for his sexually unsettling and unsavoury behaviour around women, according to Gold Coast locals.

Tostee, 28, had been banned from all the main Surfers Paradise nightclubs. One woman told the Weekend Herald she and her friends found him so "creepy" they fled his apartment.

Tostee fancied himself a ladies' man, boasting online of having taken home as many as 150 women - many met through online dating app Tinder.

Ms Wright, known as Rrie, arrived in Australia on July 29. The 26-year-old was there for a 14-day holiday and a friend's wedding.

On August 6 she booked into a hotel on the Gold Coast. The following night, she met Tostee after connecting on Tinder. She later plummeted 14 storeys from his apartment balcony to her death.

Yesterday, after a week of protesting his innocence, Tostee was taken into the Southport police watchhouse and charged with Ms Wright's murder.

Led through a side entrance in handcuffs, looking mildly dishevelled in shorts and a T-shirt, Tostee looked altogether different from the crisp, confident man pictured on his social media pages on his balcony, with the Nerang River in the background.

He had previously boasted online in chatrooms of making girls feel special on Tinder by sending replica messages with a typo, so they seemed unique.

In person, he had been described as - initially, at least - confident and charming. But nightclubs had banned him because of his unsettling and unsavoury behaviour.

Tostee would go out four or five times a week, usually by himself. Sometimes he would spend the night drinking just water, no ice. Bar staff say he would usually still be there as they closed up, trying to speak to intoxicated girls.

He described himself as a "Superhero" on Facebook and there were some positive accounts of his behaviour.

Ex-girlfriend Lauren Midgley told Australia's Channel 9 News he wasn't a bad person: "I don't think he would ever, ever hurt a girl."

However, a former bar worker said he had followed her to her car after closing time more than once; another said he would prowl the streets after bars had all closed, looking for dates.

One nightclub employee said: "Everyone knows to keep away from him. His reputation is he's just a weirdo, he'd just odd."

Sammy Soden, 18, met Tostee about three months ago. She told the Weekend Herald he was highly "sexual" in his Tinder messages. And when he met her at Club Liv, he was drunk and pawed her, she said.

She and two girlfriends went back to his apartment, where she, too, said he was "creepy".

"I walked through the door and he lifted me up, threw me over his shoulder and threw me on the couch," she said. "He was incredibly confident."

The spot where Ms Wright fell is marked with bouquets of flowers, a candle, a kiwi soft toy and a small New Zealand flag.

Andrew Peckston, a friend of Ms Wright's, performed an emotional haka at the scene yesterday.

He told Channel 9 he felt overwhelmed by the death of his friend.

Tostee first approached police with his lawyer on Friday last week, several hours after Ms Wright's death. He had left his apartment before police arrived about 2.30am.

It's understood he had been holed up with his parents for the last week.

Approached by the Weekend Herald hours before his client was arrested yesterday, lawyer Michael Purcell said Tostee did not want to speak but indicated he would plead not guilty to murder and seek bail.

This week, Tostee wrote on an online bodybuilding forum: "I've been advised not to go into details but all I will say is that I absolutely did NOT cause this girl to fall and that I am devastated about what happened to her."

He added: "Fact is I've taken home probably about 150 girls from clubs over the last few years. When you go out often to the same places and get drunk and talk to girls you're bound to get noticed and hated on, and people gossip."

On his Facebook page, he rubbished reports that police had seized sex tapes from his flat - an assertion a senior detective backed up as "all lies".

In the past, Toste has meticulously logged his sexual exploits. In a post about his 100th conquest, he described the girl as "a drop in standards".

In another, he asked a girl who left his apartment without having sex: "Do you know how many girls say they're not interested in sleeping with someone right before they go ahead and do it anyway? You can't blame me for trying."

 

ODT/directory - Local Businesses

CompanyLocationBusiness Type
British Lolly ShopQueenstown
Milton Dental CentreMiltonDentists
Michael Wyatt Architect Ltd QueenstownArchitects & Architectural Designers
G.J Gardner Homes OamaruOamaruBuilders