A millionaire who murdered his pregnant lapdancer wife and disposed of her body without leaving a trace is facing life behind bars today.
Property and jewellery tycoon Robert Ekaireb, 39, went partying at a West End nightclub after killing Li Hua Cao, who was 27 and from China.
After a two-month trial a jury at the Old Bailey today found Ekaireb guilty of murder.
Li Hua was 22 weeks pregnant when she vanished in October 2006.
Her husband, who suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder, had their flat in Hampstead redecorated and recarpeted the day after the murder, three months into their marriage.
He covered up so well that police were unable to find the body or any forensic evidence of the murder.
The court heard that Ekaireb was controlling and violent towards his wife. She tried to leave him six times but would return after Ekaireb deluged her with apologetic texts and calls.
The couple met in 2005 when Ekaireb paid Li Hua £270 for private lapdances at a club in Cork, Ireland. They married in China and, with Li Hua pregnant, set up home together in August 2006.
But the marriage was fraught with problems, with Ekaireb constantly bringing up her lap-dancing past.
Ekaireb, who has a multi-million-pound property portfolio and a jewellery business in Hatton Gardens, repeatedly accused his wife of cheating on him, while sleeping around himself.He continued to see Slovakian ex-lover Martina Kamenistiakova while dating Li Hua, and also had a relationship with a woman who lived in his apartment block, the court heard.
Ekaireb was so paranoid that his wife was cheating on him that he hired a private investigator to tail her and wanted her to take a lie detector test.
He also admitted to his psychologist that he had thought about stabbing her to death.
Police were called on August 28, 2006, after Ekaireb assaulted Li Hua on the way home from a dinner date.
She was found cowering in East Finchley Food and Wine with cuts and grazes to both arms, while Ekaireb was carrying a knife at the time.
The court heard that his bizarre behaviour included constantly scribbling notebooks full of jottings.
Li Hua’s bank accounts were never touched after she vanished on Monday 23 October 2006. There is also no record of her giving birth.
Ekaireb claimed he did not go to the police because she had told him not to and he thought she had gone home to China. She was finally reported missing by her brother in February 2007.
The investigation was reopened in 2010, leading to raids on the flat in Hampstead. Police tore it apart but could not find a single bloodstain.