Northern Ireland

West Belfast murder: Three arrested over killing

Christopher Meli Image copyright Family picture
Image caption Christopher Meli was discovered on Saturday near houses at Glasvey Close in the Twinbrook estate

Three teenagers have been arrested following the murder of a man who was found in Twinbrook in west Belfast.

Christopher Meli, 20, was discovered on Saturday near houses at Glasvey Close.

Police said the youths, two aged 18 and one aged 16, had been arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder.

They are also investigating a serious assault on another young man who was in the company of Mr Meli.

He was taken to hospital, but later discharged.

Mr Meli's mother Vanessa Burke said her son was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"I believe that Christopher died a very violent death," she said.

"I know in my heart and soul he was calling me, I believe he was calling me, or both of us. Me and Christopher were close, anyone who knows us, knows how close we were."

Speaking on Sunday, Det Ch Insp Gareth Talbot said: "After examination by ambulance staff the man was pronounced dead at the scene. A number of injuries were noted on the body and as such, we are treating this death as murder."

Police appealed for anyone with information to contact them.

Image caption Mr Meli's mother Vanessa Burke said her son was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Forensic officers carried out an examination of the scene
Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Flowers left at the scene in Twinbrook

John McPoland from the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said a crew attended the scene.

"At 12:50 GMT on Saturday the ambulance service received a call from a resident in the Glasvey Close area reporting that there was a young man lying on the street with blood coming from his head," he said.

Assistance

"He did indicate to us at the time that he felt the young man was dead.

Image caption Mr Meli was found dead in west Belfast in the early hours of Saturday morning
Image caption The incident happened near Glasvey Close in Twinbrook

"We did send a crew up to the scene and unfortunately they found that the person was deceased at the scene and they stayed until the police arrived and assisted the police as best they could."

Sinn Féin MLA Jennifer McCann said she was "shocked" to hear about the death.

"I have spoken to the local PSNI and they tell me they are treating it as a violent death," she said.

"My thoughts and prayers are with this young man's family at this time and I would appeal to anyone with information to bring it forward to the PSNI."

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Tributes have been left to Mr Meli