Matthew Flame, 22, who fatally bashed the son of Rose Tattoo frontman Gary ‘Angry’ Anderson, has been found not guilty of the murder of Liam Anderson but guilty of manslaughter, ABC reports.
A NSW Supreme Court Judge handed down the verdict on Thursday, November 12, 2020. According to the ABC report, Flame’s defence argued he was not criminally responsible because he had undiagnosed schizophrenia at the time of the killing.
Anderson was found unconscious in Pavilion Park in the north Sydney suburb of Queenscliff on November 4, 2018. Flame, who was known to the victim, was later arrested and charged with murder.
The two men had been at a party in the city prior to Anderson’s death. According to the ABC, jurors heard Flame took up to 10 MDMA pills that night, in addition to drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis. Anderson had followed Flame out of the party, which is when the attack occurred.
Flame was still attacking Anderson when police arrived at the scene. Anderson died shortly after being airlifted to hospital via emergency helicopter.
While original reports claimed the two were “best friends”, Aussie rocker Angry Anderson later confirmed in an exclusive interview with The Daily Telegraph that was not the case.
“They were not best friends,” Anderson told the news outlet at the time. “He wasn’t even in Liam’s main group of friends.”
The musician praised his son for always doing the “right thing” and believes that’s exactly what his son was doing when he accompanied Flame out of the party they were attending together.
The Rose Tattoo frontman also opened up about his son’s death in an emotional interview with Channel 7’s Interview in April 2019 — almost six months after his son’s tragic death.
“I know that I can’t use anger to express myself,” he told host Andrew Denton at the time. “I am not angry. I am just profoundly sad. The bad days are awful. Sometimes I just don’t leave the house. Nothing can describe those first terrible days.”
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