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Millionaire businessman Robert Ekaireb appeals conviction for murdering wife in Hampstead flat

16:59 07 February 2014

Robert Ekaireb

Robert Ekaireb

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A millionaire property developer jailed for life for the murder of his wife has lodged an appeal against his conviction.

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

Robert Ekaireb, 39, was sentenced to at least 22 years in prison last month for murdering his Chinese bride Lihua Cao, 27, in their luxury Hampstead apartment in 2006.

Ekaireb, owner of more than 50 properties worth £65million, has since lodged an appeal against his conviction at the Old Bailey, which was received by the Court of Appeal on January 24.

A judge will now consider whether he has grounds for an appeal before delivering a verdict.

Ekaireb’s legal team and prosecutors had been due to attend a hearing at the Old Bailey with judge Nicholas Cooke QC today to determine whether he should pay compensation to Ms Cao’s family in China, who were receiving regular payments from her before her death.

But the hearing was abandoned after the prosection requested more time to prepare their case.

During his trial, a jury heard that Ekaireb 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 re-carpeted the next day.

Ms Cao, who left China in 2002, was 19 weeks pregnant when she disappeared and was reported missing by her brother in February 2007.

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