17/01/2020

Eight Sentenced Over Christopher Meli Death

Eight young people have been sentenced for offences connected to the death of Christopher Meli in 2015.

Six defendants avoided jail while two were handed custodial sentences at Laganside Crown Court on Thursday 16 January.

The west Belfast man died in December 2015, aged 20, after he was beaten in the Twinbrook area.

Police released details of the sentencing, with a 22 year-old male facing nine years imprisonment for manslaughter, half of which will be spent in custody and half on licence.

The defendant was also sentenced for affray and assault occasioning actual bodily harm (AOABH), with both six month sentences to run concurrently with the manslaughter jail term.

Another male, aged 20, is facing five years imprisonment to be split equally between custody and time on licence. He was convicted of manslaughter and AOABH.

Senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Darren McCartney paid tribute to Mr Meli's family following the sentencing.
News Image
"They have had to deal with the unexpected and tragic loss of their son, father and brother," DCI McCartney said. "The effects of this loss on the family have been devastating, especially for Christopher's young son who was only two years old when his father was cruelly taken from him, denying him the opportunity to build childhood memories.

"Whilst nothing will bring Christopher back I hope that the completion of this trial will allow everyone to begin the process of dealing with their loss."

Another four males, all aged in their early twenties, were sentenced at Laganside on Thursday.

A 20 year-old man was given 1 years' probation for affray, while a 22 year-old will complete 150 hours community service for the same crime.

Another 22 year-old will be on probation for two years for affray and AOABH, and a 21 year-old was given a combined two year probation and 40 hour community service sentence for the same crimes.

The only female to be sentenced in relation to Mr Meli's murder, a 21 year-old was given one year's conditional discharge for affray.



(JG/CM)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

27 November 2019
'Concerning' Drop In New Homes In NI
The growth in the number of new homes in Northern Ireland has fallen back to levels seen four years ago. New statistics from the Department for Communities show the number of new dwellings started over the July – September quarter was 1,922, a 14% decrease from the same quarter last year.
09 July 2002
NI religious attitudes hardening
There is an increasing hardening of attitudes by both Protestants and Catholics towards living, working and learning together according to new research. The research conducted by the University of Ulster reveals that Protestants’ and Catholics’ perceptions of each other are becoming increasingly negative.
01 July 2003
Shoukri given six years for possessing gun
A leading loyalist has been jailed for six years today after being found guilty of possessing a gun and ammunition in suspicious circumstances. Andre Shoukri, 26, from Sunninghill Gardens, Belfast, was also sentenced for two years to run concurrently on charges of possession of a firearm and ammunition without certificates.
30 May 2003
Derry man jailed for crime committed 20 years ago
A Londonderry man has been jailed for nearly two years for sexually abusing three young sisters over 20 years ago. James Curran, 63, had his original sentence of probation overturned at the Appeal Court in Belfast. He was also sentenced to three years probation for indecent assaults.
06 December 2013
RUC Murderer Sentenced To 20 Years
A man who was convicted of the murder of a 25-year-old RUC constable in 1981 has been sentenced to at least 20 years in prison. However, he will only serve two years under the Good Friday Agreement. John Proctor was murdered by the IRA in the car park of the Mid-Ulster Hospital on 14 September 1981, having just visited his wife and unborn child.