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Millionaire Hampstead tycoon Robert Ekaireb jailed for life for murder of pregnant wife

Robert Ekaireb Robert Ekaireb

Tuesday, January 7, 2014
2:31 PM

A millionaire property developer convicted of killing his pregnant wife has been jailed for life.

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Li Hua Cao, whose body has never been found (Picture: Metropolitan Police)Li Hua Cao, whose body has never been found (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

Robert Ekaireb, 39, was handed a life sentence at the Old Bailey today for murdering his Chinese bride Li Hua Cao, 27, in their luxury Hampstead apartment in October 2006 - just three months into their marriage.

Judge Nicholas Cooke QC ordered Ekaireb to serve at least 22 years before he could be considered for release, citing his refusal to reveal the whereabouts of Ms Cao’s body as an aggravating factor.

Sentencing Ekaireb, the judge said: “The evidence in this case and the trial process exposed you as a callous, manipulative and selfish hypocrite.”

Ekaireb, who denied murder, was convicted last month after a two-month trial at the Old Bailey.

The court heard he murdered Ms Cao after months of jealousy and paranoia about her past as a lapdancer before having their flat in Pavilion Court on the gated Mount Vernon estate, in Frognal Rise, Hampstead, redecorated and recarpeted the next day.

Ms Cao was 19 weeks pregnant when she disappeared and was finally reported missing by her brother in February 2007.

He was in court today having travelled from Denmark to see his sister’s killer jailed.

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