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11/05/2007

Suburban Murder Over Water Shocks Australia

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: Drought-stricken Australia has been shocked by the killing of a pensioner in an argument over suburban water restrictions as he hosed his lawn.

A 36-year-old man, Todd Munter of the south Sydney suburb of Sylvania, appeared in court Thursday (November 1st) on a charge of murdering Kenneth Proctor, 66, who lived in the same suburb.

Police allege an argument about water restrictions erupted as Munter walked past Proctor's home on Wednesday (October 31st) afternoon and the pensioner turned the hose on the younger man, soaking him with water.

Munter is then alleged to have punched Proctor in the head and knocked him to the ground before kicking him. The older man suffered a massive heart attack and died a short time later in hospital.

The restrictions, enforced as the country suffers the worst drought in living memory, allow residents to water their lawns and gardens with hand-held hoses before 10.00am and after 4.00pm on Wednesdays and Sundays.

The water restrictions are highly publicised, with members of the public encouraged to report neighbours who break the rules and council rangers patrolling streets in Sydney with the power to levy on-the-spot fines.

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