Belfast Telegraph

Takeaway owner's murder 'was bid to instil terror in community'

By Chris Kilpatrick

A murdered restaurant owner was stabbed 17 times in an attack designed to create terror among the Chinese and business communities, a court has been told.

Wing Fu Cheung, who was known as Nelson, was murdered in front of his wife by robbers who forced their vehicle off the road in Co Antrim last week.

The 65-year-old's wife, Kam Fung 'Winnie' Cheung, was also attacked and sustained a severed artery in her arm.

Mr Cheung ran the Double Value Chinese restaurant in Randalstown, Co Antrim.

The couple had been travelling home from their business shortly after midnight on Thursday of last week when their vehicle was rammed by another vehicle on the rural Caddy Road.

The attackers reportedly shouted "give us the money" at the terrified victims.

A married couple who have two teenage children were among the three men and a woman who appeared before Ballymena Magistrates Court yesterday in relation to the robbery,

Portuguese welder Virgilio Augusto Fernando Correia (33), from Grant Avenue, Randalstown; Gary William Thompson, a 32-year-old engineer from Cunningham Way, Antrim; and unemployed Christopher David Menaul (25) from Barra Street, Antrim, appeared before District Judge Joe Rice charged with the murder.

They have also been charged with the attempted murder of Mrs Cheung and robbing her of a number of items, including a handbag, iPhone, iPad, £200 cash and bank cards, and the attempted robbery of her husband. Menaul is additionally charged with the burglary of a home on Magherlane Road near Randalstown.

Thompson's estranged wife, care assistant Lisa Thompson, (32) of Cunningham Way, Antrim, appeared charged with handling stolen goods, namely the iPhone, and perverting the course of justice by allegedly providing a false account of his movements.

Menaul appeared in the dock separately from the other three defendants. His lawyer claimed that he felt under threat.

The detective inspector heading up the enquiry told District Judge Rice he believed he could connect all the accused with the offences.

Mr Rice remanded all four in custody to appear in Antrim court via videolink on February 10.

The court was told 30 detectives are involved in what was described as a very complex investigation.

Information from mobile phones, CCTV and forensic evidence is being gathered as part of the case.

The court heard that Mr and Mrs Cheung had been driving along the road when they were forced to stop.

The vehicle's door was opened and Mr Cheung attacked. Mrs Cheung managed to flee.

Mr Rice said: "This was a crime designed to strike terror and fear into the business and Chinese communities in the Randalstown and Ballymena areas and under no circumstances must that ever be allowed to succeed."

In a development separate to the court proceedings, police have said that a 16-year-old girl and a boy aged 14 arrested in connection with the case have been released pending a report to the PPS.

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