How Instagram posts almost derailed Gable Tostee's murder trial

The jury's verdict was delayed while Judge Byrne considered the defence's application to dismiss the jury after the juror's posts were revealed. Gable Tostee was found not guilty.
The jury's verdict was delayed while Judge Byrne considered the defence's application to dismiss the jury after the juror's posts were revealed. Gable Tostee was found not guilty.

A juror almost caused a mistrial in the murder case of a man whose Tinder date fell off his 14th floor balcony after posting about it on Instagram.

The jury in Gable Tostee's murder trial reached its verdict yesterday after deliberating for more than 13 hours but the result was delayed after several Instagram posts by a juror on the panel were discovered.

Tostee, 30, was found not guilty of murdering his New Zealand Tinder date Warriena Wright, who fell from the balcony of his Gold Coast apartment in the early hours of August 8, 2014.

The posts to the juror's more than 2,000 followers over several days specifically identified the person as a juror on Tostee's murder trial and the juror's thoughts about being part of the case.

"I snagged a nasty one, so it's a bit full on," one post said.

"I took it home with me yesterday and woke quite miserable this morning. Will make sure I leave it behind this afternoon," another one said.

"I'm sure that I'm never thrown anything that I can't handle, so although it will be a tough trial, I will learn and grow from it," a third comment read.

The juror wrote on Wednesday - the jury's second day of deliberations - that it "[may be] over tomorrow".

The juror, who cannot be identified, did not discuss the evidence in the trial or the jury's deliberations.

Defence barrister Saul Holt QC argued for a mistrial but Justice John Byrne dismissed the application.

But he did scold the juror anonymously after the jury delivered its verdict.

"This is a particularly disappointing feature of the events of the day but only one is responsible for it," Justice Byrne said.

"That juror will discover when [they] accesses [their] Instagram account that many members of the public have commented on [the juror's] decision to communicate with others during the course of the trial."

- Daily Mail

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