Li Hua Cao murder: Robert Ekaireb guilty of killing pregnant wife

Li Hua Cao Li Hua Cao was four months pregnant when she was killed

Related Stories

A multi-millionaire has been found guilty of the murder of his pregnant wife who went missing six years ago.

Robert Ekaireb, 38, lived in Hampstead with Li Hua Cao, 27, who worked as a waitress and dancer in London's Chinatown. Her body has not been found.

She was four months pregnant when he killed her during a row in October 2006, the Old Bailey heard.

Ekaireb, estimated to have a fortune of £65m, disposed of her body and "carried on with his life", police said.

Ekaireb, of Hendon in north London, will be sentenced on 7 January.

His wife, who was also known as Li or Lisa Ekaireb, was reported missing in February 2007 by her family in China, who travelled to the UK for the trial.

Lie detector test

Li left China in 2002 and until 2006 worked as a waitress and dancer in Dublin, where she met Ekaireb.

She moved to London to marry and lived in the exclusive Mount Vernon development with her husband.

Robert Ekaireb Robert Ekaireb was convicted of his wife's murder

But she soon became unhappy in her marriage and had spoken about leaving Ekaireb, the Met Police said

She had also spoken to doctors about terminating her pregnancy.

She was not seen or heard of after 23 October 2006 when she called her brother in Denmark.

Her family reported her disappearance to police in February 2007.

Ekaireb had been arrested for assaulting his pregnant wife and possession of a flick-knife in August 2006.

He was charged, but Li withdrew the assault allegation and Ekaireb was convicted of the knife offence, police said.

Police said Ekaireb had booked a lie detector test for her in October 2006 and probably suspected that Li was still working as a dancer behind his back.

Det Insp Andy Manning said: "Ekaireb was controlling, restricted her access to money - despite his immense wealth - and often lost his temper.

"Ekaireb lost control and killed her as they argued on 23 October 2006. He then disposed of her body, cleared up the flat and carried on with his life."

Baljit Ubhey, chief prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "There are significant challenges with cases where the prosecution must prove a murder in the absence of a victim's body, but following extensive proof-of-life inquiries - which included work in Ireland, China, Japan and Europe - no evidence was found to indicate that she was alive after that date.

"We are grateful to the members of the victim's family who travelled from China to support this prosecution and give evidence."

More on This Story

Related Stories

From other news sites

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC London

Weather

London

22 °C 15 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    News on the hour 11:55: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    Coming up on BBC London 94.9: two Polish men accused of beating up a university lecturer during an alleged burglary have been ordered to stand trial in the new year. Listen live to find out more.

     
  2.  
    Met chief backs passport plan 11:49:

    The UK's most senior police officer has said he backs a call to seize passports from Britons who go abroad to fight with militants in Syria and Iraq.

    Met Police chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe also said "something like" control orders to restrict the movement of terror suspects should be brought back.

     
  3.  
    Dagenham school stalwart dies 11:39:

    A former policeman who organised the annual reunion for a Dagenham school has died aged 65, according to the Barking and Dagenham Post.

    Bob Miller attended Alibon Primary before progressing, along with his entire class, to Dagenham County High, now Sydney Russell School.

     
  4.  
    Foxtons jump in profits 11:24:

    London-based estate agent Foxtons has reported a big rise in half-year profits, but warned it expects business to slow down in the second half of the year.

     
  5.  
    Stop and search rules 11:14:

    We reported yesterday police forces in England and Wales have signed up to a new code of conduct for how they use their controversial stop and search powers.

    Derek and Fab speak to Chief Superintendent Victor Olisa

    Radio 1 Newsbeat met 26-year-old Derek and his friend 23-year-old Fab in Tottenham. Between them they say they've been stopped and searched more than 50 times.

     
  6.  
    Croydon stabbing 11:05:

    A 24-year-old man has died after he was stabbed during a fight amongst a group of males in Croydon.

    Police said Adrian Young died two hours after the attack yesterday afternoon.

     
  7.  
    News on the hour 10:56: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    On BBC London 94.9: The leader of Barnet Council tells other boroughs to plan ahead better after it emerged many are borrowing money or diverting cash away from repairs to meet the demand for primary school places. Listen live to find out more.

     
  8.  
    Cyclist 'threat' 10:44: Facebook

    About 25% of guide dogs working in London have been hit by a bike, according to the organisation Guide Dogs.

    Louise Amy Ellis commented on Facebook: "Ok a dog really isn't that hard to see if your on a bike and they are wearing their harness! Come on take more care!"

    Do you agree?

     
  9.  
    Guide dog awareness 10:34:

    BBC London 94.9 reporter Jason Rosam tweets: 1 in 4 guide dogs in London have been hit by a cyclist. @GuidedogsLondon are raising awareness today in Lambeth. pic.twitter.com/RvCx68ylEj

    Guide dogs
     
  10.  
    Guide dogs 'threatened' 10:25: Facebook

    A quarter of blind and partially sighted people and their guide dogs have been hit by bikes in the capital.

    On Facebook, Glen Freeman said: "This is shocking, but I am not surprised. Over the last few years cyclists have become a menace on our roads."

    Do you agree? Comment on Facebook.

     
  11.  
    Kate Bush's glowing return 10:09:

    The long-awaited return of Kate Bush has been greeted with glowing reviews from both fans and newspapers.

    Kate Bush on stage

    Last night the songstress took to the stage at Hammersmith Apollo - her first concert for 35 years. Did you go? Let us know what you thought of the show?

     
  12.  
    News on the hour 09:55:

    On BBC London 94.9: a study by University College London suggests boys and young men are more likely to be victims of sexual abuse than previously thought. Listen live to find out more.

     
  13.  
    Feedback 09:44:

    We've introduced BBC Local Live to bring you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place. Tell us what you think.

     
  14.  
    Jimmy Mizen cafe 09:28:

    The Jimmy Mizen Foundation is opening it's third café run by young people to help them play a positive role in the community.

    Jimmy was attacked a day after his 16th birthday in Lee, south-east London, in 2008.

     
  15.  
    Fulham win 09:18:

    Fulham's £11m striker Ross McCormack eased the pressure on manager Felix Magath with his first goal for the club in a Capital One Cup win at Brentford.

    Magath spoke to BBC London 94.9 after his club's win.

     
  16.  
    Guide dog walking dangers 09:07:

    A quarter of guide dogs working in London have been hit by a bike, according to the organisation Guide Dogs.

    Man walking with a guide dog

    A survey involving a fifth of guide dog owners in the city also found 70% had experienced a near miss with cyclists on pavements or jumping red lights.

     
  17.  
    News on the hour 08:58: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    On BBC London 94.9: a 23-year-old man's being treated in hospital after he was shot in the leg and stabbed in Pimlico. To find out more, listen live.

     
  18.  
    League Cup 08:47: BBC Sport

    Crystal Palace and Fulham got their first wins of the season last night, as they qualified for the third round of the League Cup.

    Palace beat Walsall 0-3 while Fulham scored a 0-1 win at Brentford.

    Elsewhere, Millwall and Charlton both lost, while West Ham leave the competition after they lost a penalty shoot-out against Sheffield United.

     
  19.  
    On air 08:38: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    Penny Smith is standing in for Vanessa Feltz this morning.

    She'll be asking should E-cigarettes be banned indoors? It comes as the World Health Organisation has raised questions about how safe they are.

    E-cigarette

    Get in touch with your views: call the studio on 020 7224 2000.

     
  20.  
    Travel 08:27: Paul Murphy-Kasp Journalist, BBC London

    South West Trains has delays and cancellations on trains through Wimbledon while emergency works take place and Greater Anglia is experiencing delays of 15 mins in and out of Liverpool Street because of a late running freight train.

    Get up to date travel information on BBC London Travel News or on Twitter @BBCTravelAlert.

     
  21.  
    Fuel spill 08:17:

    The A406 North Circular is partially blocked eastbound between Finchley High Road and Colney Hatch Lane after a fuel spill. Queues on the approach. BBC Travel has the latest.

     
  22.  
    Top headlines
     
  23.  
    Cloudy with sunny spells 08:09:

    A fine and dry day with sunny spells and occasional cloud in the east.

    Cloud is likely to be more abundant in the west with patchy rain possible later in the day. Highs of 22C (72F).

     
  24.  
    08:00: Andy Dangerfield BBC News Online

    Good morning, I'll be bringing you all the latest news, sport, travel and weather from London today for BBC Local Live.

    You can also send your news, pictures and comments to locallive@bbc.co.uk.

     

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.