Melbourne deaf trio to be tried for murder

Three deaf people who were allegedly seen using sign language to plot a murder while on a Melbourne train have been committed to stand trial.


Georgia Fields, 19, Warwick Toohey, 37 and Jake Fairest, 26, are accused of killing Toohey’s former flatmate Robert Wright, 36, who died in hospital after falling from his Ringwood balcony in January.

A committal hearing has been told a woman who knew the trio from the Victorian College for the Deaf witnessed them have a discussion about killing a man in Auslan sign language while on a train.

“They were planning on killing a man,” Michelle O’Neill said in a statement tendered in the Melbourne Magistrates Court.

“They were planning on having a pole and hitting him on the head when he was asleep.”

Another witness told the court Fields had initially blamed Fairest for pushing Mr Wright over the balcony, before saying all three were involved but that his death was an accident.

Acquaintance Elise Clausen said Fields made admissions in a Facebook conversation saying: “Yes, we did (it) but it was accident (sic) but no more now.”

When Ms Clausen put to Fields that she, Toohey and Fairest had all pushed Mr Wright off the balcony, Fields replied “yes”.

The court also heard Fields had been in relationships with both Toohey and Wright and that at times the flatmates had “shared” her.

Vicdeaf supported accommodation assistant co-ordinator Tamas Elliott said after Mr Wright broke things off with Fields he became frustrated Toohey was still seeing her.

“Robbie and Warwick’s relationship was breaking down,” Mr Elliott said.

Toohey, Fields, and Fairest will face the Victorian Supreme Court on Thursday for a post-committal directions hearing.