A man has told a Cairns inquest he was intoxicated but in the hotel bathroom when a woman fell to her death from the room’s fourth floor balcony.
A man who was the last person to see a Queensland woman before she plunged to her death from a fourth floor hotel balcony says the pair may have argued before the fall.
A coronial inquest in Cairns is looking into Deborah Lee Humm’s death on May 14 last year.
A man who was staying at the hotel with Ms Humm on the night she died told the court the pair had “possibly had a verbal” moments before she fell.
However, he said he was in the bathroom when the incident happened.
“I was intoxicated and can’t recollect the exact movements [over the night],” the man, who can’t be named for legal reasons, told the court on Tuesday.
“I’ve tried to think about it, I’ve tried to work it out.”
The man said he couldn’t recall hearing what witnesses described as a woman screaming, “go ahead, go head” before Ms Humm fell to her death.
He said he was so intoxicated he couldn’t recall the three hours from when the pair left a central Cairns bar to when they returned to the Rydges Tradewinds hotel about 10pm.
He also couldn’t explain why he arrived at the hotel on foot about a minute before Ms Humm arrived by taxi.
“I don’t know, obviously we just parted,” the man said.
Within eight minutes of the pair walking into their hotel room Ms Humm lay dead on the footpath below.
He said the pair may have been speaking loudly that night but, he said, that wasn’t unusual after a night drinking.
He said Ms Humm had been standing on the balcony or inside the room when he went to the toilet. When he returned she was gone.
The court heard police took out a domestic violence order against the man in 2011 after Ms Humm’s arm was cut open, requiring 10 stitches, after a dispute between the pair.
The man denied he was violent and said the pair hadn’t argued frequently.
He said Ms Humm had been depressed about her financial situation and health, and also wasn’t happy about his relationship with another woman.
The inquest continues.
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