Christopher McLaughlin (left) and Nathan Kelly
The parents of two Inishowen men facing a murder charge in Australia have said they believe their sons are innocent.
Christopher McLaughlin (24) and Nathan Kelly (21) have been charged with the murder of Paul Tavelardis (66). They were initially charged with assault following an incident in Sydney on December 29 but the charges were upgraded after Mr Tavelardis died.
The families of the two men told the Inishowen Independent that they are not killers and were defending themselves and their property during the incident that led to their arrest.
The duo are currently being held in separate prisons in New South Wales and face life sentences if found guilty.
The Kellys and McLaughlins claim that their sons came under attack by a man wielding a metal pipe after disturbing him interfering with their jeep.
“Our boys’ faces are being shown worldwide for murder but we know they didn’t do it. They have never been in trouble before and they are not the type of people who would ever do anything like this.”
“We feel sorry for the man who has died but there’s more to this. They didn’t set out to harm anyone and we just want them home.”
James McLaughlin is “hoping and praying” that his son Christopher and Nathan will get justice “as soon as possible”.
“We’re totally convinced they are not guilty and we are anxious that they should get bail and be given a chance to clear their names. We want them home and freed as soon as possible.”
Anne McLaughlin says life has been “hell” since she learned of her son’s arrest, while Gerard Kelly said he spoke to Nathan on Sunday and told him to keep his head up.