An­der­son ‘haunted by the hor­ror’ of son’s death

The Australian - - THE NATION - DEB­O­RAH CORN­WALL

An­gry An­der­son is tor­tur­ing him­self, over­whelmed by im­ages of the last ter­ri­fy­ing mo­ments of his son’s life as 20-year-old Syd­ney man Mathew Flame al­legedly punched and stomped him in such a frenzy that Liam An­der­son’s face be­came un­recog­nis­able.

“I’m haunted,” says the 71-yearold rock leg­end as he stares at the mount­ing pile of flo­ral wreaths in his kitchen.

“The thought that keeps flash­ing though my mind is that he will never walk in that door again. He was taken from us, he’s gone. I will never hear his voice again.”

Gary “An­gry” An­der­son, the Rose Tat­too singer and front­man, hasn’t been able to leave the fam­ily home in Bea­con Hill, on Syd­ney’s north­ern beaches, since he flew home from Perth on Sun­day af­ter his son Galen rang him with the dev­as­tat­ing news.

In his shock and grief, An­der­son says he finds Mr Flame’s in­sis­tence to po­lice he had been pos­sessed by “evil” at the time due to an over­dose of MDMA cap­sules and al­co­hol “im­pos­si­ble to ac­cept”.

“We will never get over this. I’ve been try­ing to, but I can’t get over how it hap­pened.

“I want to re­mem­ber the good things (about Liam) but he’s tainted it. He’s taken that away from me, from us.”

An­gry An­der­son said it had been “un­bear­able’’ to hear claims by Mr Flame’s lawyers that he and his fam­ily were also “trau­ma­tised” be­cause they had re­garded Liam as part of their fam­ily and Mr Flame had been his “best friend’.

“They were not best friends, they weren’t even close friends,” An­der­son says as he breaks down again, clutch­ing his el­dest son for sup­port.

“I can’t in all hon­esty say that I care at this mo­ment about the pain they (Mr Flame and his fam­ily) are go­ing through, but I know one day I will.

“Right now don’t ask me for that sort of Chris­tian com­pas­sion be­cause I don’t have it.”

A Syd­ney court was told on Mon­day that Mr Flame had over­dosed on a cock­tail of al­co­hol and MDMA and lost con­scious­ness in the bath­room of a friend’s house in Queen­scliff, on Syd­ney’s north­ern beaches, on Sun­day morn­ing where he and Liam An­der­son were still par­ty­ing af­ter a night out at a rave con­cert.

Friends told po­lice when Mr Flame woke up, he had run from the house about 6am, but Liam An­der­son had been so wor­ried about him that he had gone af­ter him, say­ing: “He’s my best friend. I would never leave my best friend.”

In a nearby park, Mr Flame al­legedly turned on Liam, punch­ing and kick­ing him and re­peat­edly stomp­ing him in the head.

“There were two peo­ple there: one whose heart was full of care for his fel­low man and one who killed him for it,’’ An­der­son said.

JOHN FEDER

‘I want to re­mem­ber the good things but … he’s taken that away from us’: An­gry An­der­son and son Galen yes­ter­day

An­der­son

Flame

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