25 Jan 2019

Australian charged with throwing girlfriend off 11-storey balcony

7:07 pm on 25 January 2019

The ex-boyfriend of 21-year-old Gold Coast woman Breeana Robinson has been charged with her murder, after she fell to her death from an 11th storey balcony at Southport, on the Gold Coast, in 2013.

Gold Coast woman Breeana Robinson died in 2013, after falling 11 storeys from an apartment balcony.

Gold Coast woman Breeana Robinson died in 2013, after falling 11 storeys from an apartment balcony. Photo: 123rf

Dan Shearin, now 45, from Nerang, was charged with one count each of murder, damaging evidence with intent and attempted fraud over the death of the Titans cheerleader.

Ms Robinson's aunt Janine Mackney said the last six years had been horrendous for the family.

"There's been many a time my family has said, 'stop fighting and concentrate on your health and your family'," Ms Mackney said.

"I had to be the voice for her because she wasn't here to stick up or protect herself."

The family had been calling for an inquest into her death, which was postponed in December 2017, when the police investigation was reopened.

"As far as I'm concerned the police didn't do a great job at the beginning, and I kept pushing and pushing and pushing the coroner," she said.

"It's still really raw. The pain never goes away."

Ms Mackney said her 21-year-old niece, who was legally blind, was sweet and "full of life".

"She was happy to have found someone … and had moved out with him and you know starting what she thought was her life," Ms Mackney said.

Detective Inspector Brendan Smith said new investigators had looked at the case, which lead to today's arrest.

"Like everything, fresh eyes, people are human … we identified new lines of inquiry and we went down that path and it lead to a great result at this point," Detective Inspector Smith said.

He said a biomechanics expert was initially engaged by the Coroner and a second independent expert was subsequently commissioned by police, who provided similar information.

"We had a couple of experts look at the circumstances around how a human body could fall from height and where the body was located, things like that," he said.

"It's certainly a key part of the evidence that we're going to present."

Earlier, Detective Inspector Smith said the arrest was the culmination of years of hard work by detectives.

"The investigative team has left no stone unturned in identifying the circumstances of Breeana's death, demonstrating the passage of time is no escape for offenders," he said.

"Whilst investigations are ongoing, it is hoped Breeana's family get some small comfort in seeing someone been brought to account for her death."

Mr Shearin is scheduled to appear at the Southport Magistrates Court on Saturday.

Warriena Wright and Gale Tostee

Warriena Wright and Gale Tostee Photo: Supplied

In 2014 New Zealander Warriena Wright died after falling 14 floors from the balcony of a Surfers Paradise apartment after meeting a man on Tinder.

Thirty-year old Gable Tostee stood trial but was found not guilty of murder and manslaughter.

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