A woman accused of lying about her husband's movements on the night a Chinese restaurant owner was murdered must remain in custody, a Belfast High Court judge ruled today.
Lisa Thompson (32) was refused bail on charges of perverting the course of justice and handling an iPhone stolen during the knife attack on Nelson Cheung and his wife Winnie.
Mr Cheung (65), was stabbed 16 times after robbers forced the couple’s car off a road in Randalstown, Co Antrim shortly after midnight on January 8th.
The couple had been heading home to Ballymena after closing their business for the night when their vehicle was ambushed by two cars.
Ms Cheung’s handbag, £200 in cash, bank cards, an iPhone and iPad were all stolen. The 57-year-old was also stabbed in the hand but managed to escape and seek help, before returning to find her husband dead.
In court, prosecution counsel Kate McKay said the murdered businessman’s wife previously expressed concerns about carrying restaurant takings.
On the night of the killing the couple tried to let a stolen Seat Toledo pass their Kia vehicle, according to the barrister. But instead they were rammed off the Caddy Road and then subjected to the knife attack.
Three men have since been charged with his murder, the attempted murder of Ms Cheung and robbery offences.
They are: Gary Thompson (32), of Cunningham Way in Antrim; Virgilio Augusto Fernando Correia (33), from Grant Avenue, Randalstown; and Christopher David Menaul (25), from Barra Street, Antrim.
Gary Thompson’s wife Lisa is alleged to have lied to police about his whereabouts that night by claiming to have left him at a bus stop in Templepatrick. CCTV evidence shows him leaving the family home the following morning, the court heard.
Financial investigations also revealed that a bank card stolen from Ms Cheung was used in a bid to make online PayPal purchases within an hour of the attack, Ms McKay said. It was claimed that WiFi from a neighbour who shared his password with Lisa Thompson was used for the internet transaction attempts.
Ms McKay added: “There is evidence to show that parts of Mrs Cheung’s stolen iPhone were used to repair an iPhone belonging to the son of this applicant.”
Ms Thompson had renewed her bid for bail based on the availability of hostel accommodation outside Antrim. But the prosecution insisted that the main concern was the risk of re-offending rather than what address she lives at. Based on those objections, Lord Justice Coghlin ruled that bail must be refused.