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Teen accused of murder is refused bail over 'fights'

By Paul Higgins

A teenager accused of the murder of Christopher Meli just over a year ago has been involved in fights while in custody, a court was told yesterday.

Objecting to 18-year-old Lee Smyth being granted bail, a detective sergeant told Lisburn Magistrates' Court the defendant had been involved in attacking "an immigration detainee" along with five or six other inmates.

The officer conceded that while no formal charges had been laid, Smyth had been involved in three other incidents involving violence while on remand. All were dealt with internally, rather than by way of further charges.

The officer objected to bail due to Smyth's "continued use of violence", after which bail was refused.

The body of father-of-one Mr Meli (20) was discovered on a pathway in Twinbrook after he was beaten to death on December 12 last year. Police believe up to 20 people were involved in a number of violent incidents that ended in the murder.

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