Sunday 11 December 2016

Deaf woman accused of killing disable man filmed signing his 'death warrant'

David Kearns

Published 24/06/2015 | 17:58

Victim Robert Wright, who died after being thrown from his balcony Credit: Facebook
Victim Robert Wright, who died after being thrown from his balcony Credit: Facebook

A deaf woman charged with throwing her boyfriend’s disabled flatmate from a balcony was caught on camera literally signing the man’s death warrant.

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Georgia Fields (19) was captured on CCTV using sign language to plot the attack, telling her alleged conspirators “I think a fall is better”, a Melbourne court heard today.

The teen is accused of helping her deaf boyfriend Warwick Toohey, and his friend Jake Fairest, throw Robert Wright from the balcony of his apartment on January 15.

Mr Wright, who suffered from cerebral palsy, epilepsy and an intellectual disability, fell more than 40 feet. He died three days later.

The Supreme Court in Melbourne heard Ms Fields allegedly asked the men via sign language if they wanted Mr Wright dead or alive while on a subway train.

When told “dead’’, she allegedly argued with her co-offenders about how to best kill their hapless victim, disagreeing with a suggestion to strangle him and instead signing they should toss him off the balcony.

“I think a fall is better,’’ she allegedly signed to her co-offenders.

Despite the exchange being caught camera, her lawyer successfully argued that Ms Field would struggle in prison because none of her fellow inmates or guards were fluent in sign language.

Accepting the argument, Justice Stephen Kaye granted bail despite police oppose and his own admission that it was “clear and unequivocal” that Ms Field was a willing participant in the plan.

Asked about her role in the plot to kill Mr Wright, the 19-year-old said: “I thought we’d better not kill him because we don’t want trouble from the police.”

“I thought he’d break an arm or a leg. I didn’t think he’d die … I’m truly shocked.’’

The court heard the murder followed tensions between Mr Toohey and Mr Wright, who had been forced to put a lock on his door to prevent Mr Toohey stealing his possessions.

Police allege the three then returned to Mr Toohey’s bedroom where they were found with Mr Wright’s iPad, bank and identity cards.

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