28/03/2016 9:37 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

Homeowner Charged With Killing Intruder To Face Court


The mother of a man who broke into a house before he was allegedly killed by the homeowner says her son was well-loved and part of a large family.

In what police described as a "very sad and very serious" matter, 34-year-old Richard Slater lost consciousness and later diedafter being detained by two men shortly after he allegedly broke into the house on Saturday night.

Grieving family members of the alleged intruder attended the court appearance of one of the men, Benjamin Batterham, 33, at Newcastle Bail Court, but he did not appear or make an application for bail on Monday morning.

Emotional family members of Slater outside Newcastle Bail Court on Monday.

Slater's mother, Beryl Dickson, said it was heartbreaking that her three grandchildren would grow up without their father.

"They've lost their father, their beautiful father that they haven't seen for years because he was in jail, which has nothing to do with this case," Dickson told the ABC.

"And he got out, and back with his family, travelling between all of his family and my family.

"Just to think those little kids are going to grow up without a dad now."

Slater's sister, Tiara Keely, told Nine News, the father-of-three was a "loving, good person."

Police had been called to Cleary St in Hamilton at 3.30am on Saturday, following reports of the fight.

Officers from Newcastle City Local Area Command said Slater lost consciousness after he was allegedly detained, and he died after being taken to John Hunter Hospital in a critical condition.

His life support was turned off at 11.30am on Sunday.

The Newcastle Herald reported Slater had only recently been released from jail after appealing a sentence for aggravated break and enter.

Batterham was initially charged with recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm and granted bail, but the charges were upgraded on Sunday afternoon.

The matter is expected to return to court on Tuesday.

In the event of a home invasion or robbery, an individual has specific rights to protect themselves, as long as the response is "reasonable," legal expert Sam Macedon told the TODAY program.