‘Burglar death’ house renovation

Ben Batterham leaves Cessnock jail after being bailed on alleged murder charges after home invader Ricky Slater died following an Easter 2015 confrontation. Picture: Peter Lorimer

news.com.au

THE dilapidated house where chef Ben Batterham was living before he was charged with burglar Ricky Slater’s alleged murder has undergone a slick renovation.

The house and 34-year-old Batterham became the focus of national headlines after Mr Slater allegedly broke in on Easter Saturday last year and then died following a scuffle after Batterham gave chase.

Police charged Batterham with Mr Slater’s murder, and a judge ordered he leave the house and live elsewhere while awaiting a committal hearing to see if he will face a murder trial.

Recognisable a year ago for its peeling weatherboards and rundown facade, the house now has a smart paint job and is being rented out for $520 a week.

Batterham was released on bail and returned to his chef’s job at the exclusive Newcastle Club while ordered to live elsewhere with his partner and daughter.

Ben Batterham leaves Cessnock jail after being bailed on alleged murder charges after home invader Ricky Slater died following an Easter 2015 confrontation. Picture: Peter Lorimer

Ben Batterham leaves Cessnock jail after being bailed on alleged murder charges after home invader Ricky Slater died following an Easter 2015 confrontation. Picture: Peter LorimerSource:News Corp Australia

The house in Hamilton where Ben Batterham lived at time of the Ricky Slater break-in and alleged attack. Picture: Peter Clark

The house in Hamilton where Ben Batterham lived at time of the Ricky Slater break-in and alleged attack. Picture: Peter ClarkSource:News Corp Australia

The house has now undergone a slick renovation including a neat paint job of the once peeling facade. Picture: Realestate.com.au

The house has now undergone a slick renovation including a neat paint job of the once peeling facade. Picture: Realestate.com.auSource:Supplied

Ricky Slater died on Easter Sunday last year after an attack following his alleged break-in to Ben Batterham’s Newcastle house.

Ricky Slater died on Easter Sunday last year after an attack following his alleged break-in to Ben Batterham’s Newcastle house.Source:Supplied

Police took photographs of Batterham after the incident which allegedly show bite marks inflicted during the confrontation.

Mr Slater, who had a criminal record for rape, assault, drug possession and break and enter offences, died on Easter Sunday last year after being taken off life support.

Batterham had been drinking beer in his kitchen with a friend to celebrate his forthcoming birthday in the early hours of March 26 last year when Mr Slater allegedly entered the house.

Police documents say that Mr Slater was carrying three knives, ecstasy tablets and three new iPhones.

They allege that Mr Slater had taken a handbag belonging to Batterham’s partner from their seven-month-old daughter’s room before he was spotted and fled the house.

Ben Batterham following the encounter with Ricky Slater on Easter Saturday last year.

Ben Batterham following the encounter with Ricky Slater on Easter Saturday last year.Source:Supplied

Ben Batterham has bruises on his face and a bite mark on his bicep following the scuffle.

Ben Batterham has bruises on his face and a bite mark on his bicep following the scuffle.Source:Supplied

Doctors turned off life support for Ricky Slater in Joh Hunter Hospital a year ago.

Doctors turned off life support for Ricky Slater in Joh Hunter Hospital a year ago.Source:Supplied

Batterham chased Mr Slater along several streets before allegedly tackling him to the ground.

After Mr Slater died in hospital, Batterham was charged with murder and was placed on remand in Cessnock jail.

At his bail hearing in Newcastle court in May last year, Batterham’s barrister Winston Terracini SC argued his client had been defending his house against a home invasion by an ice addict.

Prosecutor John Sfinas described Batterham’s pursuit of Mr Slater as aggressive.

But Magistrate John Stone said he did “not agree with the Crown submission that this is a strong case” for murder and granted Batterham bail with a $200,000 surety on his parents’ home and conditions that he not drink alcohol or take drugs.

Batterham’s parents, who lived next door, bought the house for $395,000 in the Newcastle suburb of Hamilton for their son’s young family in October 2015.

Photographs of the newly remodelled home show a fresh white kitchen and bathroom, gleaming wooden floors and a neatly mown back yard.

A committal hearing for Ben Batterham on the charge of alleged murder is expected to be held this year.

The abandoned veranda of Ben Batterham’s house after the March 2015 incident which resulted in the young father being charged with murder. Picture: Peter Clark

The abandoned veranda of Ben Batterham’s house after the March 2015 incident which resulted in the young father being charged with murder. Picture: Peter ClarkSource:News Corp Australia

Transformed back yard of the Newcastle house where Ricky Slater broke in before being chased by Ben Batterham. Picture: realestate.com.au

Transformed back yard of the Newcastle house where Ricky Slater broke in before being chased by Ben Batterham. Picture: realestate.com.auSource:Supplied

The renovated kitchen of the Newcastle home where Ben Batterham was celebrating his birthday when Ricky Slater broke into the house. Picture: realestate.com.au

The renovated kitchen of the Newcastle home where Ben Batterham was celebrating his birthday when Ricky Slater broke into the house. Picture: realestate.com.auSource:Supplied

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