Bradley Warren Ward died outside his house in Whiting Street, Labrador on Wednesday. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
Bradley Warren Ward died outside his house in Whiting Street, Labrador on Wednesday. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

How brawl over bird feeding allegedly began

A MAN charged over the death of his pensioner neighbour following a dispute about feeding birds allegedly kicked him while he was on the ground and hit him to the head twice with a broomstick, a court has heard.

Trevor Dale Wheeler, 48, was refused bail on Thursday in the Southport Magistrates Court.

He's been charged with manslaughter and serious assault of a person over 60.

Wheeler was wearing a hospital gown and appeared distressed.

 

 

 

Police are probing whether a neighbourhood dispute over bird feeding had any link to the tragic death of a Gold Coast father outside a Labrador home. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
Police are probing whether a neighbourhood dispute over bird feeding had any link to the tragic death of a Gold Coast father outside a Labrador home. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

Police allege Wheeler became involved in a verbal altercation with neighbour Bradley Ward at Whiting St, Labrador about 5.15am Wednesday.

The court heard the disagreement began when Mr Ward said: "Hey buddy, you want to stop feeding those birds."

It then escalated into violence, the court heard.

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The court heard the altercation was captured partly on a taxi's CCTV and allegedly showed Wheeler kicking Mr Ward a number of times while on the ground.

The footage also captured Wheeler allegedly striking Mr Ward with a wooden broomstick which he had retrieved from his house.

 

Detective Inspector Chris Ahearn, of Gold Coast Criminal Investigation Branch, said officers were investigating whether the altercation could have been linked to bird feeding outside the property. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
Detective Inspector Chris Ahearn, of Gold Coast Criminal Investigation Branch, said officers were investigating whether the altercation could have been linked to bird feeding outside the property. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

Chris Hannay, of Hannay Lawyers, said his client had lived at the property for three years with his mother and brother's family. He said he cared for his mother.

The court heard Wheeler fed the birds each morning but there had never previously been a discussion about it.

"There is no evidence whatsoever that my client wanted to get involved in an argument that was going to cause the death of somebody," Mr Hannay said.

He said Wheeler also suffered injuries after being punched in the altercation. While in hospital he asked staff to give him a "lethal injection" and was not eating or drinking in the watch-house, the court heard.

 

 

Police at the scene on White St in Labrador. Picture: Nigel Hallett.
Police at the scene on White St in Labrador. Picture: Nigel Hallett.

Mr Hannay said after hearing his neighbour wasn't in a good way he unsuccessfully sought assistance nearby.

He argued his client could be given bail with conditions that would alleviate any potential risk including relocating to Rockhampton in Central Queensland.

Outside of court, Mr Hannay said he would be making a Supreme Court application in the coming weeks and said his client was not handling the situation well.

The matter was adjourned until December 15.

Police have appealed for information on the death, and want to speak to a female jogger dressed in black pants and a white or grey shirt who passed by about 5.35am.

Originally published as How brawl over bird feeding allegedly began