Liam Anderson (pictured) died after being viciously bashed by his best mate in Sydney’s northern beaches on November 4, 2018
Rose Tattoo frontman Gary ‘Angry’ Anderson has refused to forgive an apprentice plumber who bashed his son to death in a drug-fuelled psychosis.
Matthew Flame, 22, was found not guilty of murder after repeatedly stomping on Liam Anderson, 26, in the belief he was a demon in a Queenscliff park on Sydney’s northern beaches on the morning of November 4, 2018.
The tradesman was found guilty of the lesser offence of manslaughter after his defence said he was psychotic at the time having taken MDMA.
Flame took 10 pills of the drug and had also consumed alcohol and cannabis earlier in the night.
Mr Anderson’s mother Lindy approached the killer in the dock on Thursday to give him a hug after a New South Wales Supreme Court jury returned their verdicts.
But Gary ‘Angry’ Anderson – Lindy’s ex-husband – said he had no sympathy for Flame ahead of his sentencing next month.
Flame (left) pictured with Liam Anderson (second from right). A forensic psychiatrist told a court he believed Flame was in a drug-induced psychosis when he killed Mr Anderson
Liam Anderson (left) is the son of Angry Anderson (right), the lead vocalist of hard rock band Rose Tattoo. Gary ‘Angry’ Anderson said he had no sympathy for his son’s killer Matthew Flame – who will be sentenced next month
Lindy Anderson is seen outside court after Flame was found guilty of manslaughter on Thursday. She approached the killer in the dock to give him a hug after a New South Wales Supreme Court jury returned their verdicts
‘They say ‘well, he didn’t know what he was doing.’ Big deal. Don’t ask me for sympathy, don’t ask me for compassion. He took drugs and he killed my son,’ the grieving father told The Sydney Morning Herald.
‘He overdosed. He took 10 [MDMA pills] on that night… and he ended someone’s life. In my eyes, he is totally responsible. And if it was somebody else’s child I would feel exactly the same way.’
The jury found Flame guilty of manslaughter rather than murder because he had been impaired by the drugs.
The Rose Tattoo rocker, who has been the band’s lead vocalist since 1976, said the plumber needed to be held accountable for taking the drugs in the first place.
‘There’s no excuse, as far as I’m concerned. Psychotic? Yes. Self-induced,’ he said.
During the trial, a forensic psychiatrist told the jury he believed Flame was in a drug-induced psychosis at the time of the killing.
Professor David Greenberg interviewed Flame in January 2020 and considered material including police videos of him after his arrest and medical records from when he went into custody.
Mathew Flame is escorted to a Corrective Services van at the New South Wales Supreme Court in Sydney on Thursday
Mathew Flame (pictured) pleaded not guilty by reason of mental impairment to murdering Liam Anderson
‘At the time of the alleged offence I am of the opinion he was suffering from a drug-induced psychosis,’ he said.
Prosecutor Gareth Christofi asked: ‘In a drug-induced psychosis are the taking of the drugs the necessary ingredient – if your remove the drugs do you get a psychosis?’
‘No,’ the witness replied.
He said there was no evidence of Flame having a pre-existing or current mental illness which was triggered or aggravated by his drug use at that time.
Lindy Anderson, the mother of Liam Anderson, covers her face as she leaves the Supreme Court in Sydney following the verdict on Thursday
Up until the bashing, Flame was by all accounts a healthy, functioning young man who had a group of friends, was working and interested in body building.
‘For all intents and purposes he had no symptoms or signs of having a mental illness,’ Prof Greenberg said.
‘Obviously he was using illicit substances prior to November 3, 2018.
‘But aside from his drug use, he appeared relatively normal in all these aspects of looking at him.’
Trevor Buchert, an American tourist, earlier told the trial Flame showed no expression as he repeatedly stomped on Mr Anderson’s head.
Mr Buchert said he had got up early to check on the surf conditions when he came across a man kicking his motionless victim on the ground.
‘I could hear his head impacting on the grass on a few occasions,’ he said.
Pictured: Emergency crews are seen at the scene on Sydney’s northern beaches in November 2018
Mr Anderson is pictured right with father Gary ‘Angry Anderson’ of hard rock band Rose Tattoo
When Mr Buchert called out ‘what are you doing’, the attacker took one step back and started to look at him but didn’t say anything.
‘The male’s eyes were wide open with no expression on his face,’ he said.
He rang for help, deciding not to directly intervene because the assailant was larger than him.
‘He was clearly capable of beating someone quite severely,’ he said.
‘I figured it was not a chance I wanted to take.’
After Mr Anderson’s death, Flame rambled about Satan before telling police ‘I was possessed last night’ and asking ‘is someone dead because of me?’
Constable John Kennedy told the jury Flame was brought into Manly police station at about 7.10 am.
‘You have no right to keep me here says Satan, I am innocent, you deserve torture,’ Flame said.
‘You lied to Satan, you can’t disobey Satan. He is not happy you are doing this especially to Mathew Flame.’
He told the constable: ‘Man you would not believe my night, are you seriously a real person?’
Flame is seen in custody after the verdict was handed down in Sydney on Thursday
In the later recordings when he seemed more coherent, Flame said he had taken ecstasy and cannabis.
‘I kept taking more and more and more and it went into a psychiatric trip or something,’ he said.
‘I was f**king possessed last night, man, I’m not even kidding.
‘It may sound f**king crazy, I don’t even know how to explain it right now, man, I was in hell last night.’