Dad charged with murder after man he caught in daughter’s bedroom dies

Ben Batterham

A man has been charged with murder after he allegedly broke an intruder’s neck as he tried to make a citizen’s arrest.

Ben Batterham, 33, has been charged with the murder of Richard James Slater, a would-be burglar who he found rummaging through his young daughter’s bedroom.

Richard James Slater

According to police, Slater, 34, broke into Batterham’s house on Cleary Street in Newcastle, Australia, in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Batterham and a friend got into a scuffle with Slater, in an attempt to detain him.

Police were called to the scene, but by the time they arrived Slater had lost consciousness.

In a critical condition, he was taken to the nearby John Hunter Hospital.

Batterham, who had to be treated for facial injuries, was initially charged with recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm.

At 11.30am the following day, Slater’s life support was switched off and Batterham’s charge was changed to murder.

He was refused bail and is expected to appear in court this week.

Slater, who was released from jail in December, had previous convictions for aggravated break and enter.

Slater’s family say they are seeking justice for his death, claiming the 34-year-old father-of-three was ‘murdered in cold blood’.

His mum, Beryl Dickson, told Seven News: ‘I want my baby’s killer found and brought to justice.

‘He was my eldest baby and now I got to bury him for a reason I don’t know.’

Slater’s mum said he had been on the straight and narrow since leaving prison.

Amazing how families can justify anything


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