Family of woman murdered by millionaire husband Robert Ekaireb left ‘haunted by nightmares’

13:30 09 January 2014

Lihua Cao, whose body has never been found.

Lihua Cao, whose body has never been found.


The brother of a woman murdered by her millionaire husband at their luxury Hampstead flat has described the devastation her death has caused their family back in China.

Robert EkairebRobert Ekaireb

Li Bin Cao travelled to London from his home in Denmark for the sentencing of property developer Robert Ekaireb, 39, on Tuesday, when a victim impact statement was read to court informing judge Nicholas Cooke QC of the toll his sister’s death has taken on their family.

Ekaireb was jailed for a minimum of 22 years for the murder of pregnant Lihua Cao, 27, in their flat in Pavilion Court on the gated Mount Vernon estate, in Frognal Rise, Hampstead, after months of jealousy and paranoia about her past as a lapdancer.

Ms Cao’s body has not been found despite an exhaustive seven-year police investigation.

Her brother wrote: “It is hard to sleep and when we do we are haunted by nightmares. The [murder] of a loved one is devastating for any family.

“However, the years of uncertainty, never knowing the truth, fearing the worst, the sleepless nights [and] the nightmares have made things even worse.”

Mr Cao said his mother had been left “isolated” and unable to even leave her bed for long periods as a result of the murder, while his father had been rendered “absent-minded and incoherent” by the trauma.

He said the family have not even told Ms Cao’s grandfather in China about her disappearance for fear the stress would kill him.

Mr Cao also revealed a chilling conversation he had with Ekaireb around the time of his sister’s disappearance.

He wrote: “After failing to reach my sister on her own phone, I called Mr Ekaireb countless times and when he finally answered he pretended to be somebody else. He said he had never heard of Lihua.

“After this phone call, and Mr Ekaireb’s strange behaviour, I was terrified and understood that something was very wrong.”

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 18:30
The Dorchester Hotel in London was just one of several five-star hotels targeted by the pair

A Hampstead pensioner who went on a drink-fuelled spree of unpaid fine dining in some of London’s most luxurious hotels was only caught because he left his spectacles behind, a court heard.

Yesterday, 15:00
Charlie and Lola author Lauren Child visits Highgate Pre-Preparatory School. Picture: Nigel Sutton

The author of popular children’s book series Charlie and Lola signed books and gave an assembly for young pupils.

Yesterday, 13:44
The LA Fitness gym in Highgate Road, Kentish Town

A petition has been launched to save a Kentish Town swimming pool threatened with closure because a gym is changing hands.

Yesterday, 10:49
The suspected brothel is in Lyme Street

Three women have been arrested at a suspected brothel in Camden Town following complaints from residents.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


You won't need to fork out for groceries for a while!

Asda, one of the country’s leading supermarkets, prides itself in being one of the cheapest places to shop, so you can be sure that your money will go a long way here!

Shop till you drop!

Here’s your chance to treat yourself to a new wardrobe and a whole lot more with this MyOffers competition to win an incredible £2,500 to spend at Primark on whatever you like!

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder