Thief who died during break in had been convicted for raping a teenage girl.

It’s been revealed that Ricky Slater, the man killed during an alleged home invasion in Newcastle, was previously convicted for raping a teenage girl, reports The Sydney Morning Herald. 

Slater was sentenced to minimum four years in prison over the June 2007 attack, in which he forced his way into the South Tamworth home of a 16-year-old female.

The victim, who was expecting a visit from her boyfriend, had answered a late-night knock at the door to find Slater standing there not wearing any pants. He then pushed the teenager inside and proceeded to rape her while also threatening her with a knife.

Slater had fled the home after the attack, but a vaginal swab taken from the victim was matched to his DNA and he was arrested in October 2007. He pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual intercourse without consent and was sentenced to serve six years behind bars.

Mamamia previously reported…

A triple-O call may hold the key to what really happened when Ricky Slater was killed in an alleged home invasion in Newcastle on Saturday.

A senior police source told The Daily Telegraph that Ben Batterham, who has been charged with Slater’s murder, called police after discovering Slater in his home.

Batterham told police he saw Slater holding his wife’s purse while standing near his daughter’s bedroom around 3.30am.

The recorded call  to Triple O is said to have captured the commotion of the scene as Batterham allegedly followed threatened Slater and followed him outside before a fight broke out.

Slater was found unconscious outside the home and was taken to John Hunter hospital with a suspected broken neck. He was placed on life support but died on Sunday morning.

Police confirmed Slater had been detained by Batterham and another man, ABC News reported.

Batterham was initially arrested on charges of grievous bodily harm before they were later upgraded to murder.

Outside the Newcastle Local Court, Slater’s mother Beryl Dickson expressed her grief at the loss of her son.

“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 said.

Online petitions calling for Batterham’s charges to be dropped have amassed more than 100,000 signatures.

One petition addressed to the NSW Attorney General says: “Homeowners should be able to defend their families from criminals who break into their homes – and Benjamin should be released now!!!”

Batterham remains in custody, and will appear in court on May 25.