A Hendon man has denied murdering his pregnant wife, who went missing more than six years ago.

Robert Ekaireb, of Corrigan Close, pleaded not guilty to the crime at the Old Bailey this morning.

The 38-year-old was charged in June with the murder of his wife Lihau Cao, also known as Li or Lisa Ekaireb.

She went missing at the end of October 2006 when she was four months pregnant. Her body has never been found.

The 27-year-old was not reported missing until four months after she was last seen, when her family in China became worried about her.

The couple had moved to Hampstead from Dublin in 2006 and, at the time of her disappearance, Mrs Ekaireb was thought to be working as a waitress or dancer in Chinatown.

Her husband was released on conditional bail this morning and will face trial on June 24.