At present, there is no forensic evidence linking one of three men accused of the murder of Randalstown businessman Nelson Cheng, a court has heard.
However, a bail application on behalf of Gary Thompson (32), of Cunningham Way, Antrim, has been adjourned until forensic examination of blood stains belonging to Mr Cheung’s wife Winnie has been completed.
Thompson, along with Virgilio Augusto Fernando Correia (33), of Grant Avenue, Randalstown, and Christopher David Menaul (26), from Barra Street, Antrim, are accused of the murder of Mr Cheung and the attempted murder of Mrs Cheung, on a date between January 6-9.
A PSNI detective constable told Ballymena Magistrates Court that biology and fingerprint reports in the case have now been completed but a further scientist wants to examine dried blood, belonging to Mrs Cheung, found in a Volkswagen Golf used in the robbery.
Previous court hearings have been told that Thompson is linked to the murder by mobile telephone evidence connecting him with the other defendants.
District Judge Des Perry asked the officer: “In the absence of forensics, is there anything to connect this defendant with the scene of the murder?”
The officer replied: “No.”
In relation to the examination of the blood, the judge said: “If that comes back as putting him at the scene, then the whole thing changes.”
Defence barrister Aaron Thompson said his client has continually made the case since his arrest that “he was never near the scene; he was not part of this, it was nothing to do with him”.
The detective constable said that a bottle of alcohol found in Thompson’s home had belonged to a woman whose car was stolen, while components of an iPhone stolen from Mrs Cheung had been found in Thompson’s phone.
Mr Thompson said his client admitted being “involved in the aftermath but not the murder”, adding: “People have contacted him, brought items to him.”
District Judge Des Perry said the bail application would have to wait until the completion of the forensic examination. He remanded Thompson in custody to appear again via videolink on August 27.