Man granted bail after killing intruder who tried to rob him

A 33-year-old man has been granted bail after being accused of murdering a man who broke into his house and

A 33-year-old man has been granted bail after being accused of murdering a man who broke into his house and tried to steal a handbag.

Ben Batterham was given conditional bail by a magistrate at the Newcastle Local Court today much to the disappointment of the murder victim’s mother who launched a tirade against the accused outside.

The court heard that Betterham chased Ricky Slater-Dickson 400 metres down the street, placed him in a choker hold and repeatedly punched him after catching him inside is kitchen trying to steal a bag.

Slater-Dickson died from his injuries the next day.

The case has gripped many people due to the question at the centre of the issue: Do you have a right to go to extreme lengths to protect and defend yourself.

Some have argued that a person should be able to go to whatever lengths they feel necessary to protect themselves – especially in their own home.

Others though, say violence is never the answer and that we should find other ways to keep ourselves safe.

Seniors, in particular, have raised a number of concerns over the issue.

There have been numerous stories in the media about older people being targeted by thieves who see them as more vulnerable and less able to fight back.

Many have said they believe people should be able to defend themselves if they are able to and not have to worry about legal consequences.

“We have a self defence law for a reason,” one commenter said.

“I don’t want to have to worry about being charged with assault while I’m trying to stop someone else from attacking me. Where’s the justice in that?”

As it stands, the law in NSW says that when it comes to self defence the courts will consider the subjective and the objective issues of the case.

Sydney-based criminal lawyer Andrew Tiedt told The New Daily the verdict rests on how scared you were at the time of the incident.

“Subjectively, the court will consider how fearful you were at the time, so if you get paranoid, how scary it was for you at the time and more,” Mr Tiedt said.

“Objectively, the court will then look at how reasonable your reaction was in proportion to your fear at the time.”

He said violence is sometimes justified in the eyes of the law because a person would understandably be scared if they found an intruder in their house, but it’s not always a case of black and white.

“Killing someone, for example, would require a significant level of fear, if not a threat to your life.”

No matter how afraid a person is, they “can’t just go around killing someone because they are afraid”, he said.

“Just because someone is inside your house and has threatened to kill you doesn’t necessarily mean you can kill them.

“Legally, you can never say that killing an intruder is wrong, and you can never say that it is right.”

What are your thoughts on this issue?

Should you be exempt from legal consequences if you hurt someone while defending yourself? Would you take action if there was an intruder in your house or would you leave it to the police?

  1. David Auchterlonie  

    If an intruder is inside your house and threatened to kill you do you just stand there and let him because the law says you got no reason to kill him just because he threatened to kill you.our government is weak our judicial system is weak our police force is useless. Might as well hand everything over to the crims and say enjoy. The will only arrest me for not giving it to you voluntary

  2. Barbara Preston  

    If the assault happened inside the house I can understand it, but he was chased down the street. Was a handbag worth a mans life?

  3. Chris Dickinson  

    I find this issue very disturbing, I have thought about what my reactions might be in that kind of situation where an intruder is present. My answer is I will do everything to protect my wife, my property & my own safety that includes physical force that will render the intruder no longer at threat. I will repeat the physical fource until the attacker retreats or is rendered no longer a threat. I have prepared my defence weapon & have assured myself we have reasonable security protection measures in place. I would not though, follow an intruder beyond my property boundary as this would expose me to the possibility of further attacks.
    Any consequences legally afterwards don’t worry me, I will not let the threat of hurting an intruder diminish my use of physical force. An uninvited intruder is to be deterred, they should feel the consequences of their illegal act.

  4. As a single woman, I’ve run into the problem of an intruder in my home. Startled, at 2am, by someone trying to enter my bedroom, I was awake immediately – up and angry – and chased him out of the house in my PJ’s. In the heat of the moment, with the fight-or-flight instincts kicking in, one isn’t thinking, “Stop, I might go to jail if I’m too aggressive.”

    Instead, one may feel paralytic fear, or be so aggressive as to chase someone away and hurt them if they caught them. In my case, I reacted with aggression, so I would vote to pardon the killer because, if not for the intruder beung in his home, his sanctuary, the over-reaction and death would not have had an opportunity to occur.

  5. peter  

    Once they enter my house uninvited they lose all their rights, and I will go to the extreme to protect my family and home.
    The guy that died was a repeat offender for break ins and violence, he was a big violent man just released from prison.
    His mother paints him as a good family man and bemoans the fact the children have lost a father a father that spent most of their lives in jail, he was low life scum no loss to society.

    • Henry  

      His mother need mental health care.

  6. I think i would render the intruder totally unconcious because if he got up , If he died so be it , I dont think I would have the energy to fight a second time ,my space is my space and I pay taxes to keep the right , OR should we go back to the caveman style and grunt and take what you want .

  7. graeme  

    What do we do go American and buy guns???

  8. We should have the right to defend ourselves if an intruder comes into our home, we don’t know the level of violence he will use on us, so I’m not going to wait to find out and without worry if we will be charged with assault, murder, manslaughter, for me if someone comes into your house, their intend is not good and they will defend themselves against you, they enter at their own risk.

  9. Pamela  

    Detectives investigating the alleged murder of home invader Ricky Slater-Dickson are identifying a significant number of burglaries committed by him in the weeks leading up to his death, including a violent attack on a young woman after she woke to find the suspect in her bedroom.

    The terrified 22-year-old woman was repeatedly punched during the home invasion in the inner Newcastle suburb of The Junction just one week before Slater-Dickson lay unresponsive in a neighbouring suburb after allegedly being choked by home owner Ben Batterham after he found the convicted rapist inside his house.

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  10. Oh for God’s sake. Look at the perpetrator’s past history and forget all his relatives’ weeping and wailing.

  11. Joan Marshall  

    If an intruder entered my home and threatened me and I hit and killed him I would feel no guilt at all. The law is weak, the Police useless, the judicial system needs a smart wake up call because crime is running out of control. Even 20 years ago it was not so bad but the world should take their heads out of the sand or we will be destroyed by the God who created us.

  12. Karen  

    I have a large knife and a golf club within reach in my bedroom and kitchen. I would not hesitate to use either and I would chase you down to use them. No one has the right to violate me or my home. I feel no sympathy for the man who died. Do the wrong thing and face the consequences.

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