Man Charged With Murder After Killing Alleged Burglar

| by Sheena Vasani
Scene of the crimeScene of the crime

Officials are accusing an Australia homeowner of murder after he allegedly killed a burglar who broke into his home March 26.

Richard James Slater-Dickson, 34, reportedly broke into 33-year-old Benjamin Batterham’s house, where he lives with his family, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Batterham and his unidentified 32-year-old friend proceeded to violently confront Slater-Dickson.

The alleged burglar soon lost consciousness and was rushed to the local hospital in critical condition, while Batterham was treated for facial injuries.

Slater-Dickson ended up dying the next morning, while Batterham turned himself over to police on murder charges.

Yet while Batterham claims Slater-Dickson was trying to rob his home, the dead man’s family says Slater-Dickson was actually attending a party at the residence, 9 News reports.

His sister Tiara Keely said her brother was the father to three children and a "loving, good person" who was "shy, quiet [and] placid.” She continued, stating that "he didn't deserve what happened to him and we're fighting for justice.”

“I want my baby's killer found and brought to justice," his mother, Beryl Dickson, said, reports the Daily Mail. “He was my eldest baby and now I got to bury him for a reason I don't know.”

“Just to think those little kids are going to grow up without a dad now,” she added.

Officials later revealed this wasn’t the first time Slater-Dickson had dabbled in crime. The man had recently been released from prison in December after serving 20 months.

He had originally been sentenced to four-years in jail yet was released after errors by the trial judge were revealed.

Yet even before that, Slater-Dickson had been convicted of a ram raid at an adult store in 2012, but acquitted and released due to trial judge errors.

However, Slater-Dickson’s family argues the man had been changing since his last release, and was on a straight and better path.

“They've lost their father, their beautiful father that they haven't seen for years because he was in jail, which has nothing to do with this case,” said his mother.

Sources: The Sydney Morning Herald, 9 News, Daily Mail  / Photo credit: The Sydney Morning Herald


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