Northern Ireland news

Teenagers still in custody over murder in Twinbrook, west Belfast

 Police are treating the death of Christopher Meli as murder

THREE teenagers arrested in connection with the murder of Christopher Meli in west Belfast remain in police custody. Another young man who was with the 20-year-old and who was also assaulted, has been released from hospital.

Police launched a murder investigation after the young man's body was found lying in a west Belfast street early on Saturday.

It is understood he had been stabbed.

The dead man's uncle Kevin Meli, took to Facebook to appeal for people to pass on any information they have to the police.

He was found just before 1am at Glasvey Close in Twinbrook. It is understood a resident called for an ambulance and reported the man was lying in the street with an injury to his head.

Mr Meli was pronounced dead by medics at the scene.

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.

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

"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."

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.

“I would like to extend my sympathy to the family of this young man and thank the wider community for their support during our investigation to date.

“A post mortem will be carried out in due course, however we believe at this stage that he died from the injuries he received following this attack.

"I would appeal to anyone who has any information or who witnessed any disturbances in the area of the Stewartstown Road or Glasvey Close to contact detectives at Musgrave on 101." 

Sinn Féin MLA Jennifer McCann said:"I have spoken to the local PSNI and they tell me they are treating it as a violent death." 

"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."

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