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Passer-by cradled murder victim Christopher Meli as he died on street

By Cate McCurry

Published 17/12/2015

Murdered: Christopher Meli
Murdered: Christopher Meli

A passer-by has described the heartbreaking moment he desperately tried to save murder victim Christopher Meli.

The 20-year-old was beaten to death after being viciously attacked in a fight involving up to 20 people.

Five teenagers, including two males and three females, were arrested on Tuesday evening, hours after three other teenagers appeared in court accused of the father-of-one's murder in the Twinbrook area of west Belfast at the weekend.

Stephen McCann and Lee Smyth, both 18, and a 16-year-old male, who cannot be named because of his age, appeared before Lisburn Magistrates Court.

All three were remanded in custody to appear before the court again via video link at a later date.

Three teenage girls, two aged 17 and one aged 16, and two teenage boys, aged 17 and 16, remained in custody last night.

Belfast man Kieran Mahon revealed on social media how he found the murder victim on a path known as Doc's Lane.

He described how he "did his best" to help the fatally injured man.

"From finding him lying there hopeless with no help then putting him into the recovery position and hearing his last few breaths then getting the ambulance rung (sic) thinking he will make it to wakening up to find out he's passed away," he said.

"Head's wrecked finding someone in a state like that. Heart goes out to his family and friends, (he was) taken away too young.

"Just finding someone lying hopeless is heartbreaking, (I) did my best anyway."

Mr Meli's local community has rallied around his family in a bid to raise money to cover the cost of the former De La Salle pupil's funeral.

A GoFundMe page has been set up online and raised over £2,000 from 188 donations in 24 hours. Tributes have flooded social media following the death of Mr Meli, who was known as Cricky to friends.

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