Northern Ireland news

Husband and wife admit charges linked to Nelson Cheung murder

Gary and Lisa Thompson pictured at an earlier court appearance
Staff Reporter

A HUSBAND and wife have admitted charges linked to the murder of Nelson Cheung - including allowing his killers to use their house as a refuge after the stabbing.

Mr Cheung - who owned the Double Value restaurant on Randalstown's Main Street - was travelling home to Ballymena with his wife Winnie when they were run off the road just after midnight on January 8, 2015.

The 65-year-old died from multiple stab wounds in the attack on the outskirts of Randalstown, while his wife was also wounded and robbed.

Two men have already pleaded guilty to murdering Mr Cheung. Portugese national Virgilio Augusto Fernando Correia (35), whose address was given as HMP Maghaberry, and Christopher David Menaul (25), from Barra Street in Antrim, are both on remand awaiting sentence.

Gary and Lisa Thompson, who at the time lived at Cunningham Way in Antrim, were also charged with a series of offences.

For two years the couple denied any involvement but as their trial was due to commence at Belfast Crown Court, legal teams for both defendants asked that they be re-arraigned.

The Thompsons admitted a charge of assisting offenders, namely allowing the killers to use their home "for refuge, to remove clothing worn during the incident and to clean themselves" on January 8, 2015.

Gary Thompson (34), whose current address was given as "at an address approved by the PSNI and Social Services", and his 34-year old wife Lisa, of Erskine Park in Ballyclare, also pleaded guilty to doing an act with intent to pervert the course of justice - namely threatening Correia to discourage him from providing his account to police on January 12 2015.

And while Gary Thompson admitted a charge of robbing Mrs Cheung of a handbag, iPad, iPhone, a purse containing £200, an Ulster Bank card and an American Express card, his wife admitted handling the stolen goods.

Crown prosecutor David McDowell asked that additional charges faced by the couple - including a murder charge against Gary Thompson - be left on the books, not to be proceeded with.

The case is due to be mentioned again on Friday, when a date is expected to be set to sentence all four defendants.

Barristers for Gary and Lisa Thompson asked on Tuesday that the couple be released on continuing bail and Mr Justice Treacy said as they had both fully complied with conditions up to this date, he could see no reason to revoke bail at this stage.

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