A New Zealand father of three who plunged from a Gladstone bridge onto train tracks was the victim of a gay hate crime, his partner has claimed.
Police said Joth Wilson, 25, (pictured, right) left his partner Maioha Tokotaua at home to buy cigarettes about 15 minutes before midnight on New Year’s Eve.
But once midnight passed and he hadn’t returned, Mr Tokotaua began to worry.
The New Zealander was found in the early hours of New Year’s Day on railway tracks with burns to 40 per cent of his body, a broken neck, spinal fractures, broken ribs, a brain injury and a severed spinal cord after plummeting eight metres from a walkway on Goondoon Street.
He remains in an induced coma in a Brisbane hospital and is unlikely to walk again.
Mr Tokotaua told the Daily Mail he believes his husband was the target of a gay hate crime.
“There were these guys who had been harassing us for some time after one of them, who is married with children, made an advance that Joth rejected,” he told the publication.
He said there was no motive for the alleged attack “other than they were intimidated that we might tell their families.”
He thought his partner had killed himself but noticed that his hat and wallet were missing, suggesting he had been robbed, Mr Tokotaua told the Daily Mail.
Gladstone Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Lindsay said Queensland Police investigators were examining CCTV footage from the area, and are investigating all possible scenarios “to work out the circumstances as to him being at the bottom of the bridge.”
“Investigators are following the lines of enquiry of a second person involved, but are yet to establish the involvement of an external person,” he told the Gladstone Observer.
The couple were in Queensland visiting family. They’ve been married three years and have three adopted children.
Mr Tokotaua wrote on his Facebook on Tuesday: “My friend, my love, my most favourite person in this whole entire world. You are my tokotoko, my tuara, my paua.
“There will not be one day of this life I will not think of you or be at your side.
“Right now, we cannot hold each other physically but trust me in my dreams every night I will come dancing with you.”
If this has brought up issues for you, remember help is always available. Call QLife on 1800 184 527 or online at QLife.org.au, Lifeline on 13 11 14, or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.