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Robert Ekaireb convicted for the murder of his missing wife

19/12/2013

Robert Ekaireb was convicted today at the Central Criminal Court for the murder of his pregnant wife, Li Hua Cao, who went missing in October 2006.

Baljit Ubhey, CPS London Chief Crown Prosecutor, said: "After seven years of deception and denial, Robert Ekaireb has now been brought to justice for the murder of Li Hua Cao.

"Ekaireb wove a web of lies in order to deflect suspicion away from him and he has continued to deny any involvement in Li Hua's murder.

"I hope that this conviction today can provide some small comfort to Li Hua's family and allow them a degree of closure to this lengthy and distressing ordeal.

"Li Hua was pregnant when she disappeared on 23 October 2006 and she has not been seen or heard from since. There are significant challenges with cases where the prosecution must prove murder in the absence of a victim's body, but following extensive proof of life enquires - which included work in Ireland, China, Japan and Europe - no evidence was found to indicate that she was alive after that date. With the results of these enquiries, we argued in court that all the evidence pointed towards the fact that Li Hua had been murdered by her husband.

"We are grateful to the members of the victim's family who travelled from China to support this prosecution and give evidence. Without the evidence of all the witnesses in this case, Ekaireb would not have been brought to justice.

"Ekaireb has now been convicted and he will finally have to face the consequences of his actions."

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are four national casework divisions: Central Fraud, Welfare Rural & Health, Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. A 'virtual' 14th Area is CPS Direct which provides charging decisions to all police forces and other investigators across England and Wales - it operates twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  3. At 31 March 2013 we employed a workforce of approximately 6840 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2350 prosecutors and 4110 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:  www.cps.gov.uk.
  4. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.