Russell Blackstock is a senior reporter at the Weekend Herald and Herald on Sunday.

Tinder date murder accused trial set to start

Police allege Gold Coast carpet-layer’s actions led to Kiwi woman’s death.
Police allege Gold Coast carpet-layer's actions led to Kiwi woman's death.
Police allege Gold Coast carpet-layer's actions led to Kiwi woman's death.

The trial of a man charged with the murder of a Kiwi woman after meeting her through the dating app Tinder begins tomorrow in Australia.

Gable Tostee, 30, is accused of killing Warriena Wright, 26.

The Wellington woman fell 14 floors to her death from his luxury Surfers Paradise apartment in August 2014.

The pair had met on Tinder just hours earlier.

Wright, from Lower Hutt, was in Australia for a wedding at the time.

The trial, at Brisbane Supreme Court, is expected to make headlines on both sides of the Tasman.

Police do not allege that Tostee pushed Wright to her death but that his actions were responsible for her death. Tostee will plead not guilty to all charges.

Since Wright's death, Tostee has proclaimed his innocence in a series of posts on social media.

Last year he stated he was a victim of "abuse and violence" on the night Wright died.

"The irony, and certainly not in any comical sense, is that I dealt with the situation in the least confrontational, least aggressive way after being on the receiving end of a night of abuse and violence. And look where I am now," he wrote.

He later wrote: "It is an absolute tragedy for everyone involved, especially Warriena's family. What certainly is no accident though is the deplorable way in which this tragedy has been treated and dealt with."

Tostee, a Gold Coast carpet-layer, previously incited a social media storm after stating it was "sheer lunacy" he had been charged with murder.

Gable Tostee
Gable Tostee

Tostee is no stranger to the police and courts.

In February 2014 he was jailed for 10 months after he led police on a high-speed pursuit. He served six months of the sentence and was released.

In April, Tostee, who legally changed his name to Eric Thomas last year, caused further outrage after he posted a picture of himself smiling and relaxing on a golf course.

While awaiting trial, he has also dished out dating app advice online and boasted of bedding 260 women.

- NZ Herald

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