The case against three teenagers accused of Christopher Meli’s murder is “starting to be painfully slow”, a defence solicitor said today.
Lisburn Magistrates’ Court heard that although the officer investigating the murder and the prosecution should have been in a position to have a timetable of the way forward in the case, “unfortunately the prosecution are not in a position facilitate that”.
While 18-year-old Stephen McCann, from Bearnagh Glen in Belfast, is on bail accused of involvement in the murder of Mr Meli, a 16-year-old boy – who cannot be named because of his age – and 18-year-old Lee Smyth, from Colinbrook Gardens in west Belfast, are in custody facing the same charge.
The body of father-of-one Mr Meli, 20, was discovered on a pathway in the Glasvey Close area of Twinbrook after he had been beaten to death. Detectives believe up to 20 people were involved in a number of violent incidents that ended in the murder on grassland in the early hours of December 12, 2015.
In court today, District Judge Peter King said he would allow a two-week adjournment ordering that if no timetable was forthcoming by that stage, he would “expect an explanation why”.