Man faces murder charge over death of would-be intruder

Richard Slater died on Sunday following his life support being turned off. He allegedly attempted to break into a a home on Saturday night.
Richard Slater died on Sunday following his life support being turned off. He allegedly attempted to break into a a home on Saturday night. Contributed

A NEWCASTLE man remains behind bars, charged with murder, after he allegedly killed an intruder who police believe was breaking into his home.

Ben Batterham allegedly found Ricky Slater-Dickson inside the house at 3.30am on Saturday.

Mr Batterham and another man are thought to have assaulted and held the alleged burglar, putting him in a headlock as all three moved on to the street.


Mr Slater-Dixon was found unconscious and with a broken neck, police said.

He was taken by ambulance to hospital in a critical condition but would die on Sunday morning when his life support was turned off.

Mr Batterham has now been charged with murder .

His wife and child were unharmed.

Mr Slater-Dixon's family told reporters outside of court, describing the father-of-three as a "gentle giant" and calling for justice.

"He was my little baby and I got to bury him now," his mother said.

His family said he was attending a party at Mr Batterham's home, not intending to break-in.


Seven News reports Mr Slater was convicted in 2012 for a variety of break and enter charges.

Under the self-defence laws in New South Wales' Crimes act:

• A person is not criminally responsible for an offence if the person carries out the conduct constituting the offence in self-defence OR

• A person carries out conduct in self-defence if and only if the person believes the conduct is necessary:

  • to defend himself or herself or another person, or
  • to prevent or terminate the unlawful deprivation of his or her liberty or the liberty of another person, or
  • to protect property from unlawful taking, destruction, damage or interference, or
  • to prevent criminal trespass to any land or premises or to remove a person committing any such criminal trespass,
  • and the conduct is a reasonable response in the circumstances as he or she perceives them.

Topics:  editors picks newcastle new south wales

Council mergers: Did they actually save us money?

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie confronts protesters against council amalgamation outside the shire council in Barcaldine.

A decade on from council mergers, was the pain worth it?

Janita's youth mental health movement

With one phone call, Janita Cooper helped pave the way to better youth mental health.

One phone call that paved the way to better youth mental health

Police hunt suspects after fire bombing

A group of men threw a petrol bomb through the window of a Caboolture house last night. Picture: FILE

Police hunt group of men after Caboolture petrol bombing

Local Partners