Thousands sign petition to free murder-accused father Ben Batterham

 

Thousands of people have signed a series of petitions demanding the release of Ben Batterham.

Batterham is alleged to have killed an intruder he found inside his home on Saturday night.

The 33-year-old will remain in prison after he failed to apply for bail on Tuesday.

Ricky Slater-Dickson was killed after he allegedly tried to break into a Newcastle home on Saturday night. Photo: 7 News

The father is charged with the murder of 34-year-old Ricky Slater-Dickson following an incident outside the family’s home in the suburb of Hamilton the occurred over the long weekend.

Batterham made no application for bail at a court hearing in Newcastle.

He also failed to appear on the audio link from the courthouse cells.

The matter has now been adjourned until late May.

The incident took place on Cleary Street located in the Newcastle suburb of Hamilton. Photo: 7 News

The mother of Ricky Slater spoke to media outside of the court saying she wants "justice" for her son. Photo: 7 News

The case has elicited strong reactions from the public who have defended the alleged actions of Batterham.

One petitioner suggesting he should be set free as he was protecting his family at the time of the incident.

The petitioner asked if Batterham should simply “lay down and die?”

The alleged intruder made his way in through the neighbours yard and was allegedly caught peering into Mr Batterham's infant daughter's bedroom. Photo: 7 News

Slater-Dickson’s mother however, said he was a “good boy” dedicated to his family.

“He was my little baby and I got to bury him now,” she said adding his alleged killer has been found and she “wants justice,” his mother told 7 News.

According to several reports Batterham discovered Slater-Dickson near the bedroom of his daughter at the time the alleged altercation occurred.

It is believed Batterham and another man, 32, reportedly assaulted and detained Slater, putting him into a headlock before the incident was moved onto the street.

Shortly after police attended the scene Mr Slater-Dickson lost consciousness and was taken to the John Hunter Hospital where he died on Sunday morning.

Family members of Ricky Slater claim he is a "gentle giant". Photo: 7 News

Ben has been charged with murder after the alleged burglar's life support was shut off. Photo: 7 News

The alleged intruder was convicted in 2012 for a string of break and enter charges.

Laws around using force in self-defense have been changed in New South Wales after a number of controversial cases.

“You can in fact use whatever force you think is necessary to save yourself,” Sam Macdeone from Macedone Legal told 7 News.

News break – March 29

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