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Christopher Meli murder: Alleged killer who breached bail released on same conditions

A teenager accused of the murder of Christopher Meli was back in court on Monday, the first anniversary of the killing, for breaching his bail conditions.

Detective Sergeant McCready told Lisburn Magistrates Court the 17-year-old, who cannot be named because of his age, was arrested when police allegedly discovered he wasn't at his bail address at 01.10 on Sunday morning.

The lady he had been living with told officers "he had moved address," said the DS - adding that he was also investigating unconfirmed reports the teenager had been "frequenting the Poleglass and Twinbrook" areas where he is banned from.

Along with two other Belfast teenagers, 18-year-old Stephen McCann, from Bearnagh Glen and 18-year-old Lee Smyth, from Colinbrook Gardens, the 17-year-old is accused of the murder of Christopher Meli on 12 December last year.

The body of 20-year-old, father-of-one Mr Meli was discovered on a pathway in the Glasvey Close area of Twinbrook after he had been beaten to death and detectives believe up to 20 people were involved in a number of violent incidents that ended in the murder on grassland known as Doc's Lane, in the early hours of Saturday 12 December.

Defence solicitor Paul McCrudden told the court the defendant had only been away from his bail address for one night as a result of a family fall out and that despite being on bail "with stringent, onerous condition" for a year, there had been no other breaches.

Releasing the 17-year-old on the same conditions as before, District Judge Amanda Brady warned the teenager "let this be a warning to you as to the consequences of breaching your bail."

"If you breach you will go to custody and if it happens again the court will give serious consideration to whether you should be on bail or in custody," said the judge.

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