UPDATE: Accused Gold Coast Balcony Killer Loses Appeal for Police Pursuit

Criminal Law

UPDATE: Gabriel Tostee has lost an appeal against his jail sentence for a high-speed police pursuit which took place in July 2014.


Tostee appealed his 10-month jail sentence in the Lismore District Court, but was knocked back by Judge Anthony Blackmore.

He led police on a pursuit while travelling back from Splendour in the Grass music festival to the Gold Coast, reaching speeds of almost 200km/h. The pursuit was alcohol-fuelled, and ended across the border in Queensland with Tostee driving on rims after NSW Police deployed road spikes.

Matters raised by Tostee’s lawyer included that he was not on his medication for anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder at the time of the offence, and he had to be in protective custody in a shared cell because of his current notoriety, exacerbating his mental health issues.

Tostee been charged with the murder of New Zealander Warriena Wright, who plummeted to her death from Tostee’s Gold Coast high rise in August 2013.

The offence of police pursuit (first offence) is punishable by a maximum of 5 years’ jail: Crimes Act 1900 s 51B. It is established where the accused knows, or ought reasonably to know or has reasonable grounds to suspect that police officers are in pursuit requiring the driver to stop, and does not stop, and then drives recklessly or at a speed or in a manner dangerous to others.

This section, sometimes referred to as ‘Skye’s law’, was inserted in 2010 following the death of 19 month old Skye Sassine, who was killed in 2009 when a car involved in a police pursuit crashed into her parents’ car, killing her.

Image credit: ABC News

Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-23/tostee-refused-bail-for-alcohol-fuelled-car-chase/6415060

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