Nelson Cheung murder case: Men returned for trial

Nelson Cheung
Nelson Cheung

Two men accused of the murder of Randalstown businessman Nelson Cheung have been returned for Crown Court trial.

Virgilio Augusto Fernando Correia (34), of Grant Avenue, Randalstown; and Christopher David Menaul (26), of Barra Street, Antrim, are accused of killing Mr Cheung on a date between January 6-9 last year.

They also face further charges, on the same date, of robbing Mr Cheung’s wife Winnie of a handbag, an iPad, £200 in cash and two bank cards.

Correia and Menaul also face a third charge of unlawfully and maliciously wounding Mrs Cheung, with intent to do her grievous bodily harm.

The defendants appeared at separate times in the dock at Ballymena Magistrates Court, as a result of what a previous court hearing had heard described as “friction” between the pair.

During the brief individual hearings, a Public Prosecution Service representative said both defendants had a case to answer in relation to the charges.

Neither Correia nor Menaul - who were both dressed in casual tops and jeans, indicated that they wished to call witnesses or to tender any written statement of a witness.

The case against the pair will initially go to Belfast Crown Court, on a date to be fixed, from where a venue for the hearing will be determined.

Correia and Menaul were returned for trial in custody.

The cases against two other people facing charges relating to Mr Cheung’s murder were adjourned at last week’s sitting.

Gary Thompson (33), of Cunningham Way, Antrim, faces the same charges as Correia and Menaul, along with other charges.

His wife Lisa Thompson (33), of the same address, faces charges including handling a stolen iPhone belong to Mrs Cheung and with perverting the course of justice.

Gary Thompson’s barrister Aaron Thompson had sought a one week adjournment in order to look at “telephone traffic and cell site analysis” involving his client, in what he described as “a complex murder case”.

The Thompsons’ preliminary enquiry is due to take place next Thursday, at Ballymena Magistrates Court.