Cheung murder case: Barrister concerned at delay in forensic evidence

Murder victim: Nelson Cheung.
Murder victim: Nelson Cheung.

A barrister for one of three men accused of the murder of Nelson Cheung has expressed surprise at a delay in forensic evidence in the case.

Michael Smyth was speaking at Ballymena Magistrates Court during a remand hearing for his client Virgilio Augusto Fernando Correia, who is accused of the murder of Randalstown businessman Mr Cheung and the attempted murder of his wife Winnie, on a date between January 6-9.

Correia, with an address at Grant Avenue, Randalstown, and the other accused are further charged with robbing Mrs Cheung of a handbag, iPad, iPhone, £200 cash and a bank card and with attempting to rob Mr Cheung.

Christopher David Menaul (25), of Barra Street, Antrim; and Gary Thompson (32), of Cunningham Way, Antrim, are also charged with the murder of Nelson Cheung.

Updating the progress in the case, a Public Prosecution Service lawyer said that the examination of a car involved in the case is due to be completed “within the next two to three weeks”, with a report due to follow within three months.

Mr Smyth said that police are making the case that his client was in a Seat Toledo used in the roadside murder of Mr Cheung and are examining the car for Correia’s DNA.

“I’m surprised to hear the actual examination is not yet completed,” said Mr Smyth, who said that his client is unlikely to be granted possible bail before the findings of the report are published.

District Judge Des Perry remanded Correia in custody to appear again on April 23.

“In four weeks’ time, I expect to have a definite date for the receipt of forensic evidence,” the judge added.