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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 November 2007, 11:49 GMT
Australian killed in hosepipe row
Hosepipe (archive)
Sydney Water said Mr Proctor was not violating any restrictions
A man has been charged with murder in Australia after allegedly punching and kicking an elderly man during a heated argument over water restrictions.

Ken Proctor, 66, was watering his front lawn in southern Sydney on Wednesday when Todd Munter, 36, walked past and made a remark about wasting water.

Mr Proctor then turned his hose on Mr Munter, prompting a fight, police said.

An off-duty police officer intervened and arrested Mr Munter, but Mr Proctor later died after having a heart attack.

Australia is suffering its sixth year of severe drought and all major cities have imposed restrictions on household water consumption.


Appearing briefly before a local court in Sydney on Thursday, Mr Munter did not enter a plea and was remanded in custody until 15 November.

According to the police, Mr Proctor was watering his front lawn in the suburb of Sylvania around 1730 on Wednesday when Mr Munter walked past and challenged him about local water restrictions.

A spokesman for Sydney Water said Mr Proctor was not violating any rule, as he was using a hand-held hose at the allotted time on the correct day.

An argument ensued, and Mr Proctor sprayed Mr Munter with his hose, wetting him, police said.

Mr Munter allegedly responded by punching Mr Proctor, pushing him to the ground and then kicking him. An off-duty police officer eventually intervened, but Mr Proctor had suffered a heart attack.

"He was hit in the head [and then] he went into massive cardiac arrest," an ambulance spokesman said.

The ambulance crew attempted to revive Mr Proctor, but he later died at the city's St George Hospital.

Mr Proctor's next-door neighbour for the past 14 years, Bruce Buscombe, said Mr Proctor had recently become a grandfather and described him as a "very likeable sort of fellow".

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