Nelson Cheung murder: Four to face trial

Murder victim Nelson Cheung was stabbed 17 times in January last year

Murder victim Nelson Cheung was stabbed 17 times in January last year

A husband and wife were among four people formally arraigned before the Crown Court on a number of charges arising out of the murder of Co Antrim Chinese restaurant owner Wing Fu Cheung, stabbed 17 times in January last year.

The 65-year-old Randalstown restaurateur, also known as Nelson Cheung, was attacked along with his 57-year-old wife Winnie after their jeep was ambushed and forced off the road as they drove home to Ballymena.

Denying the murder and wounding Mrs Cheung with intent to do her grievous bodily harm was 33-year-old Portuguese national, Virgilio Agusto Fernando Correia, originally with an address in Grant Avenue, Randalstown, and 25-year-old Christopher David Menaul, originally with an address in Barra Street, Antrim.

Correia, whose address along with that of Menaul is now given as HMP Maghaberry, also denied a charge of robbing Mrs Cheung of a handbag, an iPad, iPhone, £200, an Ulster Bank card and an American Express card.

Husband and wife, Gary and Lisa Thompson, who are on bail, appeared on separate charges, which they also denied.

Gary Thompson, a 33-year-old engineer, formally of Cunningham Way, Antrim, but now living at an address approved by the PSNI, is accused of having “dishonestly undertook or assisted in the retention, removal, disposal or realisation” of Mrs Cheung’s iPhone and Ulster Bank card.

His 34-year-old wife Lisa, a care assistant also originally of Cunningham Way, Antrim, but now with an address in Lurgan, denies doing an act with intent to perverting the course of public justice by threatening “Virgilio Correia not to talk to police in interview or he would be ‘got in the long grass’”.

Mr Justice Treacy fixed their trial, to be held in Belfast, and expected to last up to six weeks, for January next year.

No details surrounding the attack on Mr and Mrs Cheung were given during the short formal arriagnment, but an earlier District Court hearing was told that on January 7 last year the couple had closed their Chinese restaurant the ‘Double Value’ in the middle of Randalstown for the night and were driving home.

As they travelled along the Caddy Road in their Kia jeep they felt they were being followed. Mrs Cheung slowed down and pulled in and then a Seat Toledo collided with them. A detective inspector claimed that ‘people’ approached their jeep, pulling open the door and shouted “give us the money”.

The court also heard that while Mr Cheung was stabbed 17 times, his wife was verbally abused and grabbed by the hair and was stabbed on her hands which cut an artery causing bleeding.

However, she managed to break free and ran to a nearby house for help, before returning to the car where she found her husband.