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Irish teen plunges to death in bid to escape knife thugs

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The Gold Coast apartment block from which Cian English fell to his death

The Gold Coast apartment block from which Cian English fell to his death

The Gold Coast apartment block from which Cian English fell to his death

An Irish teenager fell to his death from the fourth storey of an apartment in Australia's Gold Coast while trying to escape being robbed at knife-point, police have said.

Three men, aged 18, 20 and 22, have been charged with murdering Cian English (19), who was originally from Carlow town but whose family emigrated to Australia about five years ago.

Officers were called to the View Avenue building at Surfers Paradise at about 3.15am on Saturday after a passer-by found the teenager's body on the pavement outside.

Drugs

Police then found a group of men in one of the apartments above. Four of them were semi-conscious after taking prescription drugs which police believe were stolen from Gold Coast pharmacies.

They were all taken to hospital in a stable condition.

Detective Superintendent Brendan Smith, who is leading the investigation, said police will allege the trio tried to rob Mr English and a friend of their mobile phones and clothing at knife-point after the victim and his friend tried to befriend them.

Supt Smith said: "During the course of that, the victim has attempted to escape and has gone over the balcony and died.

"We've got a young man who was on the Gold Coast with his friends and one thing led to another and he's now dead."

He told Australian media that Mr English and at least one friend had been socialising with another group of young men from their balconies when they invited the group from another apartment to "come up and join us".

Threats

Prescription drugs were being taken by some of the people present before Mr English's death, he said.

"The consequences of the robbery and threats made to the victim, put the consequences on those three offenders," he told the 'Brisbane Times'.

"I don't know how you reconcile that as a family or a community. It's becoming too common and we need to stop it. Violence doesn't solve anything," he said.

"They were both viciously assaulted and, as I say, the robberies occurred at knife point."

The three men arrested have all been charged with one count of murder and two counts of armed robbery.

All three are due to appear in court later today.

Meanwhile, the teenager's heartbroken family issued a statement through the Australian police.

It read: "Our family is devastated by this tragedy and respectfully ask for privacy as the police investigation into the circumstances continues."

Carlow county councillor Fergal Browne said the victim's late grandfather, John English, had retired from the council before his death and the family was well known and respected in the community.

"It's a terrible tragedy," he said.