Police have charged a man over an alleged neighbour dispute that left a man dead on the Gold Coast, sparked by an argument over bird feeding.
Police allege a 60-year-old man, identified as Bradley Ward, died after he was knocked to the ground, repeatedly kicked and hit with a broom handle following an argument police say escalated into a fight at 5.15am on Wednesday morning.
Mr Ward managed to stand up and walk a short distance before collapsing at 5.40am. Despite paramedics attempts to save the man, he was declared deceased at the scene.
Police confirmed they were investigating whether an ongoing dispute over Mr Ward’s feeding of wild birds was the reason for the dispute.
A 48-year-old Biggera Waters man has been charged with one count of manslaughter and one of serious assault and will appear in Southport Magistrates Court on Thursday.
The Courier Mail is reporting the serious assault charge relates to Mr Ward’s 82-year-old mother, who was allegedly pushed as she tried to intervene.
Police will allege Mr Ward was repeatedly kicked as he lay on the ground and hit with a broom handle after an early morning confrontation with his neighbour.
Detective Inspector Chris Ahearn from the Gold Coast Criminal Investigation Branch earlier said the deceased and the man being questioned were neighbours.
When asked if the alleged altercation could have been triggered by a dispute over bird feeding, he said it was “one of the theories we’re investigating.”
“It appears there has been an ongoing dispute between the two of them, that has progressed to some sort of physical confrontation,” Det Ahearn told reporters on Wednesday.
“Disputes of this nature can be complex.”
Det Ahearn said police were still speaking to witnesses and getting an exact version of events.
“We do know the deceased was leaving his house and the other gentleman was outside … There’s been some sort of discussion which became a dispute and escalated into a physical altercation,” he alleged.
A passing taxi driver stopped outside the house to intervene, and police say he could have been injured as part of the exchange.
“He stopped the fight,” Det Ahearn said.
While no charges have yet been laid, Det Ahearn said early indications suggested the 48-year-old had allegedly used a broom handle as part of the fight.
“It’s very concerning to see this,” he said.
“We see from time to time a neighbours dispute escalating into something more … On the face of it, it seems what’s happened here.”