Mother and son face charges linked to murder of businessman

Ballymena Courthouse. INBT02-213AC
Ballymena Courthouse. INBT02-213AC

A mother and her son have appeared in court charged with intent to pervert the course of justice in relation to the murder of businessman Nelson Cheung.

Mr Cheung (65) ran the ‘Double Value’ takeaway in Randalstown and while travelling home to Ballymena with his wife Winnie just after midnight in January 2015 he was fatally stabbed.

Their car was intercepted and Mr Cheung received multiple stab wounds.

His wife was also wounded and robbed.

Two men pleaded guilty to murdering Mr Cheung. They are Portuguese national Virgilio Augusto Fernando Correia (35), whose address was given as c/o prison and Christopher David Menual (25) from Barra Street in Antrim town.

Husband and wife Gary and Lisa Thompson (both 34) and originally from Antrim town, admitted charges including allowing the killers to use their house as a refuge after the killing.

Items stolen during the robbery included a handbag, a purse containing £200 and an iPhone.

At Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday, Sharon Stewart (44), who is on benefits, of Waring Street, Ballymena and her son, Jordan Mervyn Stewart (18), a student, of Fernisky Park, Kells, both appeared for a Preliminary Enquiry - the legal step to send a case to the Crown Court.

They are each charged that between January 13 and January 14, 2015, with intent to pervert the course of justice, they did an act which had a tendency to pervert the course of justice, namely they provided an account to police in connection with the investigation into the murder of Nelson Cheung which they knew contained material information which was false and misleading to the investigation.

They are each also charged that on a date unknown between January 8 and January 13 in 2015 they dishonestly handled stolen goods, namely a white and gold coloured Apple iPhone5s.

During the Preliminary Enquiry neither objected to the holding of the proceedings and a prosecutor said she believed there is a case to answer.

There were no contrary submissions from defence lawyers.

The accused did not wish to any anything in relation to the charges and District Judge Peter King released them on their own bail of £500 and returned their case to Antrim Crown Court for arraignment on May 12.