Northern Ireland

Christopher Meli: Woman admits affray on night of murder

Christopher Meli Image copyright Family photo
Image caption 20-year-old Christopher Meli was murdered in December 2015

A woman, charged with an offence arising from violence that culminated in the death of a 20-year-old man, has admitted causing an affray.

Christopher Meli, a father-of-one was beaten to death at Doc's Lane, west Belfast on 12 December 2015.

Shannon McIlwaine, 21, of Glenalina Crescent, Belfast, spoke to confirm her name at Belfast Crown Court.

She was charged with "unlawfully displaying force and making an affray" on the day of Mr Meli's death.

When the charge was put to her, she replied "guilty".

Her lawyer said her plea was made on the grounds that it was "not one of causing actual violence that led to the death of Mr Meli" but rather that she was part of the crowd that "moved before the violence".

The Crown accepted the plea on those grounds, given that this was the prosecution's case.

Five young people have now entered various pleas linked to violent confrontations on the night of Mr Meli's death.

Three young men are now facing trial for his murder. That case is due to begin later in November.

The judge said Ms McIlwaine would be sentenced after that trial ended.

She was released on continuing bail.

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