'Murdered' home invader was an ice addict and rapist

RICKY Slater-Dickson, the man who was killed after allegedly breaking into a Newcastle home was reportedly an ice addict and had previously been jailed for raping a teenage girl.

According to the Daily Mail, Slater-Dickson'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 to 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.

The Daily Mail reported that Slater was arrested after his DNA matched that taken from the victim, and later pleaded guilty to 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 the home in Newcastle 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".

The Daily Mail reports that 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.

Newcastle man Ben Batterham, 33, remains behind bars, charged with murder, after he allegedly killed Mr Slater-Dickson who allegedly broke into his home.

Mr Batterham allegedly found Ricky Slater-Dickson inside the house at 3.30am on Saturday.The struggle is said to have taken place after Mr Batterham found Mr Slater-Dickson near his daughter's bedroom.

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 Batterham was charged with recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm but the charge was upgraded to murder after Mr Slater-Dickson's life support was switched off on Sunday.

Many have claimed that the father-of-one had been defending his home and family and there is widespread support for him. Social media users are petitioning for the release of Mr Batterham.

It was initially reported that a fight broke out between Mr Batterham and Mr Slater-Dickson, who was subsequently put in a choke hold until police arrived. That was when emergency services discovered he had an injured neck.

However, Mr Batterham could be heard threatening the intruder before a drawn out fight ensued, according to a triple zero recording obtained by the Daily Telegraph. 

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

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

Mr Batterham failed to apply for bail, and did not appear at a Newcastle court on Tuesday morning. His case has been deferred until May.

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