The burglar and dad charged with his murder

New details have emerged of the fatal fight between an intruder and a homeowner that left one of the men dead and the other facing a murder charge.

There have been conflicting accounts about exactly where Ricky Slater-Dickson was when he was confronted by Ben Batterham during the early hours of Saturday morning on Batterham's property in Newcastle, Australia.

Initial reports suggested Mr Slater-Dickson was seen peering through Batterham's daughter's bedroom window - others said he was actually in the home.

The house where Mr Slater-Dickson was found with a broken neck. Police are investigating where he was when he was tackled.
The house where Mr Slater-Dickson was found with a broken neck. Police are investigating where he was when he was tackled.

A police source told The Daily Telegraph Mr Slater-Dickson was seen in the home, near his daughter's bedroom and holding his wife's purse.

Police found Mr Slater-Dickson, who was reportedly charged with a string of break and enter offences in 2012, unconscious in Batterham's home with a suspected broken neck.

Batterham was charged with Mr Slater-Dickson's murder after the 34-year-old's life support was switched off. He has been remanded in custody until May 25.

The reaction to Batterham's arrest from many ordinary Australians has been met with furious disbelief. Thousands have already signed an online petition calling for him to be released.

The Telegraph reported the triple-0 emergency call Batterham made that morning recorded sounds of the fight, and Batterham allegedly making threats against Mr Slater-Dickson.

The man's mother, Beryl Dickson, told reporters her three grandchildren would now grow up without a father.

"They've lost their father, their beautiful father that they haven't seen for years because he was in jail," she said.

Ms Dickson said her son, who had served jail time for break-and-enter offences, was back on an even keel before his death. "He might have done his time but he was a good boy. He was dedicated to his family.

"Ricky was a big boy. To do that to him - there must have been three or four of them."

Legal expert Sam Macedone told news.com.au this week a person was "entitled" to defend themselves if an intruder entered their home and the resident believed they were under threat.

"If you defend yourself in a way that you believe is necessary, that's fine - providing what you do is a reasonable response as you perceive it."

- news.com.au

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