James Alderton in a photo posted on Facebook.
James Alderton in a photo posted on Facebook.

Killing suspect's mum says he acted in self-defence

ACCUSED killer James Alderton was acting in self-defence when a northern NSW father was fatally stabbed this week, his mother claims.

Heidi Eitz, 38, said her 22-year-old son was attacked by a group of people in Murwillumbah on Tuesday while on the way home from the supermarket.

"He was defending himself," Ms Eitz told the Bulletin yesterday.

"He was trying to get home and they were chasing him. He gets targeted because he has face tattoos."

Disinterested and with a face covered in tattoos, Alderton appeared in a blue forensic suit in the Tweed Heads Local Court yesterday.

He is accused of stabbing three people with a knife stolen from a supermarket after a brawl.

Alderton lives with his mother.

Charlie Larter, celebrating his 46th birthday, died on the way to hospital.

His 18-year-old son, Zack, underwent surgery on Tuesday night.

He was in a stable condition yesterday afternoon.

The third man was taken to Murwillumbah Hospital but released soon after.

Ms Eitz, a shop manager, said she had been unable to talk to her son.

She said she had spoken at length to his girlfriend, who was with him at the time of the attack, and his lawyer.

"When I left the house, he told me that he and his girlfriend were going to Coles to buy a bottle of drink."

Ms Eitz said James told her the fight occurred on the way back.

"James rang me on my mobile and said there were 30 or 40 people standing out the front of the house with bats and bottles,"  she said.

"When I arrived home (about 12.40pm) they were standing out the front of the house with bats and bottles and I was threatened myself.

"You would be surprised at how much of a nice person he is just because he has tattoos all over his face. He's a very nice person.

"I'll do anything to help him ... he is my life. His lawyer has spoken to him and he's very subdued and very shocked.

"I'm staying away from my home because I've had death threats."

Alderton, originally from Bathurst, yesterday made no application for bail and it was formally refused.

Police originally said the man arrested was aged 32.

He will appear in the Lismore Local Court on June 27.

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