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More than £2,000 raised for Christopher Meli's funeral

Christopher Meli outside court on Tuesday as three teenagers appeared charged in connection with the murder of his son Christopher 
John Monaghan

AN online fundraising appeal to cover the funeral costs of murder victim Christopher Meli has raised more than £2,300 in a single day.

More than 200 people had donated to the appeal via the GoFundMe website by Wednesday night.

A memorial page for the 20-year-old father of one was set up on Facebook, while one friend posted a poem which has been viewed more than 100,000 times.

Mr Meli's body is expected to be released to his family on Thursday. Funeral details are to be announced within the next few days.

Meanwhile, a further five teenagers aged 16 and 17, three boys and two girls, were arrested over his murder.

The youths were detained on Tuesday evening and remained in custody last night.

Mr Meli was beaten to death on a pathway at Glasvey Close in Twinbrook at the weekend.

Detectives believe up to 20 teenagers were involved in a number of violent incidents that culminated in the murder of the apprentice BT engineer on grassland known as Doc's Lane in the early hours of Saturday morning.

On Tuesday, three teenagers appeared in court charged with Mr Meli's murder.

Stephen McCann (18), of Bearnagh Glen in Andersonstown, Lee Smyth (18), of Colinbrook Gardens in Dunmurry, and a 16-year-old male, who cannot be named because of his age, all appeared at Lisburn Magistrates Court.

All three were remanded into custody until Monday, when they are to appear again via videolink.

Two teenagers aged 18 and 17, who were arrested by detectives on Sunday, were released on bail on Tuesday night pending further inquiries.

Mr Meli, from Sliabh Dubh in west Belfast is survived by his young son Kyle Christopher, parents Vanessa Burke and Christopher Meli Snr, and brothers Ryan, Caolán, Aaron and Jayden.

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