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.
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"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.


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