Dad on trial for murder after ‘beating to death’ meth addict intruder who broke into his baby daughter’s bedroom

A FATHER chased and beat to death a drug addict who broke into his baby daughter’s room, a court has heard.

Benjamin Batterham, 35, is standing trial for the murder of Ricky Slater, 34, who died in 2016 after being chased from Batterham’s home in the city of Newcastle, Australia.

PA:Press Association

Benjamin Batterham, 35, is standing trial for the murder of a drug addict who broke into his home[/caption]

Police handout

Ricky Slater, 34, suffered three cardiac arrests after being restrained by Slater and died the following day[/caption]

Batterham, an apprentice chef, was celebrating his birthday with a friend at around 3.20am when he saw Slater in his home.

Newcastle Crown Court heard on Monday he then pursued Slater for around 330m down the street before placing him in a choke-hold.

Slater had the first of three cardiac arrests as paramedics arrived at 3.47am, dying the following day due to lack of oxygen to the brain.

Batterham has pleaded not guilty to the murder.

Crown prosecutor Wayne Creasey SC told the jury that Batterham had told responding police: “Give me two minutes with him. I’ll kill the dog.”

He also said that neighbour and police officer Peter Mahon had seen Batterham punching Slater a number of times in the head while pinning him to the ground with one arm around his neck.

Batterham was reportedly saying: “You motherf***ing piece of s***.

“How dare you break into my daughter’s bedroom. She’s only seven months old.”

Slater had taken a number of items of value from the home, including a purse belonging to Batterham’s partner and his daughter’s headband.

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Batterham’s partner and baby daughter were not at home at the time.


Creasey said Batterham had had the right to pursue Slater and restrain him until police arrived, but not the right to attack him or “exact some sort of revenge”.

Defence barrister Winston Terracini SC was entitled to chase Slater and to “defend his home and family”.

He also said that, after an autopsy, a forensic pathologist had concluded there were “very little injuries on the deceased man consistent with a violent struggle”, and that Slater had not been beaten or strangled to death.

But the prosecutor said neighbours had been concerned by Batterham’s behaviour, and had heard Slater crying out: “I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.”

The court heard that Slater was overweight and had a “potentially lethal” level of methylamphetamine in his system at the time of his death.

He also had scarring to his heart caused by regular drug use and suffered from liver disease.

The trial will focus on the medical evidence regarding Slater’s cause of death, and the roles played by his health, the drugs in his system, and the struggle with Batterham.

The trial continues, and is expected to last four to six weeks.

PA:Press Association

Batterham has pleaded not guilty to murder[/caption]

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