Bail restrictions lifted to allow murder accused to go on holiday

PACEMAKER BELFAST   FB'The teenager killed in West Belfast in the early hours of Saturday has been named locally as Christopher Meli
PACEMAKER BELFAST FB'The teenager killed in West Belfast in the early hours of Saturday has been named locally as Christopher Meli

A teenager accused of the murder of Christopher Meli had bail restrictions lifted on Monday so he can go on holiday.

A defence solicitor told Lisburn Magistrates Court the police and PPS had agreed to temporarily lift some restrictions imposed on 18-year-old Stephen McCann to allow him to go on holiday for a week in July.

McCann, from Bearnagh Glen in Belfast, is on bail accused of involvement in the murder of Christopher Meli on 12 December last year.

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 also accused of the murder of Mr Meli.

The body of the 20-year-old, father-of-one 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.

McCann has had bail conditions varied before, the latest coming before the court in March when he was allowed to move address because of threats against him.

In court on Monday District Judge Rosie Watters agreed to lift conditions which order McCann to observe a curfew, stay to home and report to police three times a week but he is still barred from contacting either his co-accused or witnesses.

The case is due before the court again on August 8.