Millionaire is found guilty of wife’s murder

A Jewish property tycoon has been found guilty of murder.

Multi-millionaire Robert Ekaireb, who owned more than 50 properties worth over £65 million and a jewellery business in Hatton Garden, was convicted for murdering his Chinese-born wife Li Hua Cao, a former lapdancer.

The jury at the Old Bailey heard that the 27-year-old victim, whose body has not been found, stopped working because her occupation was not in keeping with her husband’s Jewish tradition.

Weeks before her disappearance in 2006, Mr Ekaireb, 39, had booked a lie-detector test and hired a private detective to follow Ms Hua Cao, whom he suspected of adultery.

Ms Hua Cao, believed to be four-months pregnant, was last seen at the couple’s Hampstead flat.

Investigating officer Detective Inspector Andy Manning said: “Mr Ekaireb was controlling, restricted her access to money and often lost his temper. [He] lost control and killed her as they argued on 23 October 2006 at their flat. He then disposed of her body, cleared up the flat and carried on with his life.”

Mr Ekaireb, 39, from Hendon, north-west London, is of Iraqi-Jewish descent. His father Rex Ekaireb is the former chairman of the Sephardi Od Yosef Hai synagogue’s finance committee. The family are no longer members of the shul in Hendon.

Mr Ekaireb will be sentenced on January 7.

Last updated: 1:52pm, December 23 2013