A man who was killed after allegedly breaking into a home in Australia was an ice addict and had previously been jailed for raping a teenage girl.

Richard James Slater's mother, Beryl Dickson, said the 34-year-old "had a problem" with ice and confirmed that a photograph widely circulated on social media of a man smoking from a lit pipe was her son.

Slater had been jailed in 2009 for attacking a 16-year-old girl. According reports in the Sydney Morning Herald, he was not wearing pants when he knocked on his victim's door before forcing his way inside the home and raping her.

Slater was arrested after his DNA matched that taken from the victim, and later pleaded guilty aggravated sexual intercourse without consent. He was sentenced to serve six years in prison on January 16, 2009.


Ms Dickson said: "He had problems, family problems in his past."

She also denied he broke into a home in Newcastle, NSW, last week to steal a purse, saying he had $600 "on him".

Her comments follow reports that Slater had been released from jail in December after his convictions for an aggravated break and enter case were found to be based on "flawed CCTV footage".

Slater was found guilty of fraud and aggravated break and enter offences after he was charged for breaking into a home to steal a wallet, handbag and a car, which prosecutors claimed was later used in the ram raid of an adult store in Sandgate, a suburb in Newcastle, in 2012.

He had served 20 months of his two year and six month prison sentence when his convictions were quashed in December by the NSW Court of Appeal, only months before he was found standing in Benjamin Batterham's home holding his Mr Battersham's wife's wallet in an alleged break and enter.

Slater, whose life support was switched off on Sunday after he was fatally injured by Mr Battersham, had appealed his burglary conviction claiming the prosecution's case relied solely on images obtained from "flawed CCTV footage".

Mr Batterham's arrest has caused significant outrage in the community, with almost 69,000 people signing a petition demanding his immediate release.

Many have claimed that the father-of-one had been defending his home and family.

It was initially reported that a fight broke out between Mr Batterham and Slater, who was subsequently put in a choke hold until police arrived, which is when it was found he had an injured neck.

However, a tripe zero recording that was obtained by the Daily Telegraph indicates that Mr Batterham could be heard threatening the intruder before a drawn out fight ensued.

The paper claims Mr Batterham continued to attack Slater after police arrived on the scene.

The 34-year-old, who is known to his family as Ricky, was rushed to John Hunter Hospital where he remained in critical condition until his family decided to turn off his life support at 11.30am on Sunday.

Batterham, 33, did not apply for bail when his case was heard in Newcastle Local Court on Tuesday morning after he handed himself into police on Sunday when his charge was upgraded from grievous bodily harm to murder.

- Daily Mail