An old man was killed while watering the lawn near his house in argument over Sydney water restrictions.
Todd Munter, 36, was charged in a Sydney court Thursday with killing retired truck driver Ken Proctor in the fatal altercation Wednesday.
Munter, who lived on a street near Proctor in suburban Sylvania, did not enter a plea. Magistrate Jayeanne Carney ordered Munter, who appeared distraught and close to tears, to remain in custody until he appears in court next on Nov. 15 to plea.
Police prosecutor Sgt. Bruce Baldwin did not give details of the murder charge, which carries a potential maximum of life imprisonment.
Munter approached Proctor as he watered his lawn with a hose at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday and an argument ensued, police alleged in a statement before the court appearance. Television and radio news bulletins reported the argument was over Sydney 's water restrictions.
Proctor reportedly sprayed Munter with the hose. Police allege Munter responded by punching and pushing Proctor to the ground and kicking him.
An off-duty police officer intervened and arrested Munter, the statement said. Proctor was taken by ambulance to hospital but died soon after, police said.
Proctor was complying with Sydney 's water restrictions when he was killed. Watering with hand-held hoses is allowed on Wednesdays and Sundays before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m.
All major cities in Australia have water use restrictions as the nation experiences its worst drought in a century.