Charges upgraded to murder after man's death

Christopher McLaughlin (L) and Nathan Kelly have been charged with murder.

Christopher McLaughlin (L) and Nathan Kelly have been charged with murder.

Two Irishmen have been charged with murder following the death of a 66-year-old man in Sydney.

The two men, both from Donegal, were originally charged with “affray” and “reckless grievous bodily harm in company” following the December 29 incident. But the charges were upgraded to murder following the death of victim Paul Tavelardis on Monday.

Christopher McLaughlin, 24, and Nathan Kelly, 21, appeared in court today via video-link from separate prisons. The defendants will remain in custody after the judge refused them bail.

They are due to appear in court again on March 6.

Kelly fronted Burwood Local Court on Wednesday via video link from Silverwater prison.

McLaughlin, who is understood to be a tunnel worker for WestConnex, also appeared via video link from Long Bay jail.

Meanwhile the family of Mr Tavelardis have paid tribute to the grandfather-of-nine who was battling leukemia.

“He loved to travel, that was his indigenous side, he loved to go, as we say, ‘walkabout’,” his son Bradley Tavelardis told The Daily Telegraph.

“Every two or three years he would save enough money, buy a sedan and go out into the desert and sleep in the back of his car.”

Bradley Tavelardis said his father was a peaceful man, did not smoke or drink, and “lived every moment” due to his illness.

Mr Tavelardis jnr said he held no ill-feeling towards the families of the two men who had made contact with them from Ireland.

“The families of the two boys, they would be going through a lot of hardship as well,” he told the Daily Telegraph.