Second murder charge dropped in Tang case

Second murder charge dropped in Tang case

A murder charge against a second man accused of killing a Chinese businessman in Carrickfergus nearly 17 years ago has been withdrawn.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard on Thursday that there was not enough evidence in the case against Paul Allen.

The Public Prosecution Service also expressed concerns over length of time the ongoing inquiries are expected to take.

The 39-year-old man from Drumhoy Drive in the Co Antrim town was accused of killing Simon Tang in 1996.

Mr Tang, a father of two, died in hospital after he was attacked and robbed outside his takeaway business in Carrick.

No one has been convicted of his killing, and Mr Allen always denied the accusations against him.

A Public Prosecution Service lawyer told the court the charges were dropped because the evidence against him was currently not enough to proceed.

"However, for the benefit of the defence, there are ongoing inquiries," she said.

"These may take some time and it's because of the time taken it was considered to withdraw (the charge)."

Defence barrister Mark Farrell confirmed to District Judge Mervyn Bates that the action was being taken on a without prejudice basis.

It is the second time murder charges in the Tang case have been dropped in as many days.

On Wednesday, a murder charge against co-accused George Robinson, 36, of The Hollies, Carrickfergus, was withdrawn.

Charges against two women, accused of supplied false alibis in connection with the murder investigation have also been dropped.

Jacqueline Scanlon, 34, of Woodburn Drive, and Leanne Wilson, 35, from The Cherry Walk - both in Carrickfergus - had been accused of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

© UTV

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