‘My boy died trying to do the right thing’
DEVASTATED rocker Angry Anderson has revealed his anguish at the tragic death of son Liam - and his fury at the man charged with his boy's brutal murder.
Speaking for the first time since Liam, 26, was found dying on Sunday morning in a Queenscliff park, Anderson and his oldest son Galen rejected reports that Liam and his accused killer Mathew Flame, 20, were "best friends".
"They were not best friends," Anderson said, choking back tears in the kitchen of his Beacon Hills home.
"He wasn't even in Liam's main group of friends."
Anderson, clenching Galen's hands and frequently pausing to compose himself, said that he had raised his four children to "always do the right thing" and to "look after people".
"That's what Liam was doing on Sunday morning," Anderson said.
According to documents tendered to Manly Local Court on Monday, Flame, Liam and others had partied, drank alcohol and taken MDMA capsules during a long night that ended at a house party in the northern beaches.
Fearing he may have overdosed and after briefly losing consciousness, Flame, a plumber's apprentice, tried to leave the party by himself about 4am.
Liam and the others begged Flame to stay, for his own safety. When Flame walked out, Liam went with him.
Police allege Flame then turned on Liam, kicking and punching him so viciously that police later quietly counselled the Anderson family to not request a viewing of Liam's body.
"Liam was trying to help him," Anderson told The Daily Telegraph. "He was such a decent human being."
Flame did not apply for bail when he appeared in court on Monday charged with Liam's murder.
Galen, younger brother Blaine, sister Roxanne and Liam moved within a trusted circle of close friends who would often gather at the Anderson house.
Galen said Flame was not among them.
"I didn't know him. None of us know him," Galen said. "The first time I ever saw him was about six months ago when the dog was going nuts outside and it was at him."
Flame told Galen he was there to pick up Liam, but did not introduce himself.
"He and I have never had a conversation. He doesn't know any of us," Galen said.
Galen said his brother was a naturally popular young man who easily attracted new friends. "He just had an energy. People were drawn to his energy," Galen said.
"Liam's true friends were with us here yesterday."
On Monday, Flame's solicitor Omar Juweinat said that Flame's family regarded Liam Anderson as "part of their family".
"Matt has never been violent in any way and as the circumstances will be unfolded in court we hope to prove to the public and the court there are two victims here, and two devastated families," he said.
The Andersons strongly dispute this characterisation of the relationship between Liam and Flame.
Angry Anderson first learned of his son's death when Galen phoned him in Perth, where the Rose Tattoo frontman had performed with the band on Saturday night.
When Anderson heard the name of Liam's alleged killer, it drew a complete blank.
"If he was Liam's best friend, I would have known him," he said. "He would have been here, around this table, eating with us and the others."
"We didn't know who he was," Galen said, pointing out that the pair had known each other only on and off.
He said the two had swapped occasional friendly messages on Facebook and caught up for musical events.
"In recent times they've been out raving," Blaine Anderson told his dad, as the family tried to piece together what had led to Sunday morning's attack.
Angry Anderson said that, at most, Liam and Flame were brought together only by a fondness for partying.
Flame is scheduled to reappear at Manly Local Court on January 29.
Tim Blair interviewed the Andersons at Angry Anderson's request.