IN PICTURES: Candlelit vigil for murdered 20-year-old

Vigil for Christopher Meli. Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye
Vigil for Christopher Meli. Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye

Friends and relatives of young man murdered in west Belfast at the weekend have held a candlelit vigil at his family home.

Christopher Meli, 20, was beaten around the head by up to 20 youths in the Twinbrook area in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Christopher Meli snr and Vanessa Burke. Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye

Christopher Meli snr and Vanessa Burke. Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye

The father of a two-year-old boy, Mr Meli was attacked in Glasvey Close shortly before 1am. One of his friends was also injured and was treated in the Royal Victoria Hospital before being discharged on Sunday night.

Five male teenagers aged between 16 to 18 have been arrested in connection with the murder.

Hundreds of people attended the vigil in the Springfield Road area on Monday night where Mr Meli’s parents - Christopher snr and Vanessa Burke - were comforted by family and friends.

Ms Burke said her son had found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Vigil for Christopher Meli. Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye

Vigil for Christopher Meli. Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye

PSNI Detective Chief Inspector Richard Campbell said Mr Meli was the victim of a “sustained and vicious assault”.

He said anyone who was involved should come forward before detectives arrived at their doors.

“A number of witnesses have come forward and a picture is starting to emerge of what happened late on Friday night, running into early Saturday morning,” he said.

DCI Campbell said: “Christopher was subjected to a sustained and vicious assault, resulting in fatal injuries. His death has caused devastation to his family and shocked the wider community.”

Vigil for Christopher Meli. Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye

Vigil for Christopher Meli. Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye

Vigil for Christopher Meli. Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye

Vigil for Christopher Meli. Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye

Vigil for Christopher Meli. Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye

Vigil for Christopher Meli. Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye