A team of 25 detectives are working on the police investigation into the murder of Randalstown businessman ‘Nelson’ Cheung, a court has heard.
The scale of resources afforded to the case was outlined during a bail application at Ballymena Magistrates Court by a woman facing charges relating to the murder of Mr Cheung and the attempted murder of his wife ‘Winnie’ last month.
Lisa Thompson (32) of Cunningham Way, Antrim, is accused of handling a stolen iPhone belonging to Mrs Cheung and with perverting the course of justice by giving a false account to police regarding the movements of her estranged husband Gary Thompson, one of three men charged with the murder of Mr Cheung on January 8.
Barrister Neil Moore said that a previous bail application had been rejected on the grounds that the proposed address was in the Antrim area, giving rise to police concerns of possible interference with witnesses.
However, he said that a bail address for Thompson had been obtained in Bangor which, he said, “removes her significantly from the area in which the investigation is ongoing”.
He reminded the court that Thompson faces much less serious charges than he three co-accused, adding: “Police could have some solace in the fact that any bail terms would be strictly monitored.”
Opposing bail, a PSNI detective sergeant told the court: “We believe that this lady tried to purchase items using credit cards belonging to the Cheung family.”
The officer said that there are currently 25 detectives working on the case and that items relating to the case are going to forensic scientists “on a daily basis”.
Rejecting the application, District Judge Des Perry said it was “completely premature”.
“As and when the police investigation is more complete, then, and only then, a further (bail) application could well be justified.
“Were the investigation now complete, I would be minded to seriously consider bail with stringent conditions but until it is wrapped up, I think it’s too early,” the judge added.
Thompson was remanded in custody to appear again at Antrim Magistrates Court on February 10.