'Gay hate crime': Husband found 'thrown off bridge' in Queensland

A New Zealand man was thrown from a bridge and left for dead in a "gay hate crime" after rejecting the advances of a married straight man on New Year's Eve, the victim's husband claims.

Maioha Tokotaua, 33, found his husband's "mangled" body lying unconscious under a train bridge in the Queensland town of Gladstone early on Sunday morning.

Joth Wilson was found with broken bones, burns, a brain haemorrhage and a severed spinal cord, the Daily Mail reports.

The 25-year-old is unlikely to walk again and remains on life support in hospital where Mr Tokotau has been keeping a bedside vigil for the past five days.

Maioha Tokotaua (left) and Joth Wilson (right) were visiting from New Zealand. Source: Facebook
Maioha Tokotaua (left) and Joth Wilson (right) were visiting from New Zealand. Source: Facebook

The distraught husband said he believes a group of men who harassed the couple from Taranaki for some time after one "who is married with children, made an advance that Joth rejected".

"There's no money involved, no drugs, no debt, there's just no motive for the attack other than they were intimidated that we might tell their families."

Mr Wilson was found around 2am on New Year's Day beneath an eight-metre high train bridge in the town on Queensland's Central Coast.

He had gone out into town before midnight on Saturday to buy a final packet of cigarettes before the couple were giving them up as a New Year's resolution.

Mr Wilson was found 'mangled' beneath a bridge. Source: Facebook
Mr Wilson was found 'mangled' beneath a bridge. Source: Facebook

When he did not return, Mr Tokotaua went looking for him.

"I found him after two hours, on the train tracks. He looked mangled," he told the Daily Mail.

Mr Tokotaua initially thought it was a suicide attempt until he noticed his husband's wallet and hat were missing.

Mr Tokotaua believes his husband was beaten in a gay hate crime. Source: Google Maps
Mr Tokotaua believes his husband was beaten in a gay hate crime. Source: Google Maps
Mr Wilson was found at the bottom of this bridge in Gladstone. Source: Google Maps
Mr Wilson was found at the bottom of this bridge in Gladstone. Source: Google Maps


Police believe Mr Wilson's burns came from the power lines above the railway tracks, but Mr Tokotaua thinks they are from a "chemical or lighter fluid that has been poured on him and set alight".

"It was a gay hate crime," he said.

Mr Wilson remains on life support but is in a stable condition and is not expected to make much progress in the next two weeks.

The couple, who were legally married in New Zealand three years ago, were visiting family and travelling on Australia's east coast.

Mr Tokotaua and his husband were legally married three years ago in New Zealand. Source: Facebook
Mr Tokotaua and his husband were legally married three years ago in New Zealand. Source: Facebook

They have three adopted children and have helped raised 15 foster children, the Daily Mail reports.

Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Lindsay of the Gladstone police Criminal Investigations Branch said police were still "trying to work out the circumstances as to him being at the bottom of the bridge".

"The investigation of a third party being involved is still being investigated," he said.

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