Manslaughter charge after alleged bird feeding fight

 

A neighbourhood dispute, allegedly over bird feeding, has left one man dead and another facing manslaughter charges in a bizarre tragedy on the Gold Coast.

Police allege that 60-year-old Bradley Ward died after he was knocked to the ground, kicked and hit with a broom handle in an early morning fight with his neighbour at Labrador.

A 48-year-old Biggera Waters man was on Wednesday night charged with one count each of manslaughter and serious assault.

A man has been found dead in Whiting street, Labrador. Picture: Nigel Hallett
A man has been found dead in Whiting street, Labrador. Picture: Nigel Hallett

The serious assault charge relates to Bradley Ward's 82-year-old mother Joyce who was allegedly pushed as she tried to intervene in the fight

Mr Ward died in the ­driveway of his Whiting St home about 5.40am over what police said was an "ongoing" feud.

Neighbours said Mr Ward liked to feed wild lorikeets in his yard and police confirmed they were investigating if this was behind the dispute.

Emotional relatives hug on the front porch of the Labrador home where a man has died in suspicious circumstances. Picture: Greg Stolz
Emotional relatives hug on the front porch of the Labrador home where a man has died in suspicious circumstances. Picture: Greg Stolz

"That's one of the theories we are currently investigating," Detective Inspector Chris Ahearn said.

"Disputes of this nature can be complex, so we'll look at all avenues at what the background is.

"What we do know is the deceased was leaving his house and the other gentleman was outside his house and they've had some sort of discussion and that's progressed into a dispute and physical altercation.

 

A man has been found dead in Whiting street, Labrador. Picture: Nigel Hallett
A man has been found dead in Whiting street, Labrador. Picture: Nigel Hallett

"One of these gentlemen has retrieved a broom handle, and potentially a broom handle was also used in the assault," Det Insp Ahearn said.

Det Insp Ahearn said a cabbie who was driving past at the time stopped and tried to break up the fight.

Police downloaded security camera footage from the cab, which was believed to have shown the fight.

Whiting Street, Labrador, where a man collapsed and died.
Whiting Street, Labrador, where a man collapsed and died.

Neighbours said Mr Ward lived at the property with his elderly mother, his wife and children.

In emotional scenes moments before his body was removed by undertakers, family members hugged and wept on the front lawn.

Mr Ward's neighbour, 48, was made to wear a blue forensic suit and taken into police custody. He was expected to be charged overnight. A neighbour of Mr Ward and the man in police custody said that both were "good people".

A man has been found dead in Whiting street, Labrador. Picture: Nigel Hallett
A man has been found dead in Whiting street, Labrador. Picture: Nigel Hallett

"They're both family men - the guy who passed away leaves behind two young primary school children, a wife, mother and brothers - it's very sad," said the man, who did not want to be named.

"And over what? Over a triviality. It just proves the pointlessness and futility of neighbourhood disputes. You can lose everything - not just a car, your house or income, but everything."

A man has been found dead in Whiting street, Labrador. Picture: Nigel Hallett
A man has been found dead in Whiting street, Labrador. Picture: Nigel Hallett

 

Whiting Street, Labrador, where a man collapsed and died.
Whiting Street, Labrador, where a man collapsed and died.

A neighbour of Mr Ward and the man in police custody said both were good people.

"They're both family men - the guy who passed away leaves behind two young primary school children, a wife, mother and brothers - it's very sad," said the man, who did not want to be named.

"And over what? Over a triviality. It just proves the pointlessness and futility of neighbourhood disputes.

"You can lose everything - not just a car, your house or income, but everything."

A woman is comforted at the scene at Labrador where a man died.
A woman is comforted at the scene at Labrador where a man died.


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