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Mum heartbroken after son Christopher Meli left to die by murderous gang

By Rebecca Black

Published 14/12/2015

Christopher Meli was beaten to death in west Belfast
Christopher Meli was beaten to death in west Belfast
Tributes at the scene where Chris Meli was killed

A grieving mother has said her son, who died after he was attacked in west Belfast, was “in the wrong place at the wrong time”.

Vanessa Meli said she believed her son Christopher (20) suffered a very violent death.

“I can’t even explain what they have done. Even if they knocked at my door now with an apology it is not good enough because it is not going to bring my son back,” she said.

There were scenes of heartbreak earlier in the day after Christopher’s parents arrived at the scene where their teenage son lay dead. Christopher ‘Cricky’ Meli was set upon by a gang in the early hours of Saturday. It is understood he was badly beaten and stabbed and that his parents rushed to the scene.

Local people saw his distraught mother calling out her son’s name, while the teenager’s father broke through the cordon to try and reach his son.

Flowers yesterday adorned a lamp post close to where he died, with loving messages from friends and family.

A candlelit vigil has been organised to take place this evening outside the family home in the Sliabh Dubh area off the Springfield Road.

Mr Meli was attacked in Glasvey Close at around 1am. One of his friends was also attacked and left injured. He was treated in the Royal Victoria Hospital and was discharged last night.

Three teenagers, two aged 18 and one aged 16, were arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder. They remained in custody last night.

John McPoland from the Ambulance Service said a crew arrived at the scene at 12.50am on Saturday.

The teenager had attended De La Salle school and had gone to study electrical engineering at Belfast Metropolitan College.

His uncle Kevin Meli blasted his attackers as “a bunch of animals” and said the young man’s father is devastated.

“The kids don’t deserve to be bullied with gangs with knives,” he said.

Christopher’s friends from across Belfast have spoken of their devastation on Facebook, while others changed their profile pictures to images of their friend. Joelene McMullan posted: “Woke up to the news of Cricky Meli. My heart is broke — one of the most loveliest wee lads about”.

PSNI Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Gareth Talbot, said a post mortem will be carried out in due course.

“Enquiries are very much ongoing and I am asking witnesses or anyone who believes they can assist in the investigation in any way to contact detectives,” he said.

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