Saturday 21 October 2017

Video: Tetra Pak heir 'on drug binge while wife lay dead in house'

Eva Rausing: body was found on Monday
Eva Rausing: body was found on Monday

Sam Marsden

ONE of Britain's richest men may have lived with his dead wife for a week while he went on a drugs binge.

Police only found the body of Eva Rausing at her home in Chelsea, west London, several hours after they stopped her husband Hans Kristian Rausing for driving "erratically".

Detectives suspect that Mrs Rausing (48) may have been dead for up to a week before she was discovered on Monday and are now investigating whether Mr Rausing (49), an heir to the Tetra Pak fortune, had visited a drug dealer in the hours before his arrest.

The death of American-born Mrs Rausing follows a long battle with drug addiction, which she described in a posting on a social networking website.

Writing five years ago, she said she had become clean after a "troubled" period when she dropped out of university, but added: "I fell back into the same hole as before and have been there for nearly seven years."

The mother of four also paid tribute to her "very kind, patient and loyal" husband in the internet post, saying: "I'm very lucky that he has stuck with me -- many would have not."

Addiction support charities backed by the heiress recalled her generous donations and frankness about her own battles. Eric Carlin, a former chief executive of Mentor, said on one occasion a trustee of the charity had said: "We all agree we don't like drugs," to which Mrs Rausing replied: "No, I love drugs. That's the problem."

Lord Mancroft, a former chairman of the charity, described Mrs Rausing as "sweet, charming and childlike, very bright and very dedicated to the cause".

He said her personal struggles had been "kind of obvious", adding:

"Last time I saw her, it was apparent she was not well. She became less and less involved in the charity and I suspect she withdrew from other things."

Footage

In an effort to establish when Mrs Rausing was last alive, detectives have taken CCTV footage from cameras attached to the couple's £70m (€88.7m) townhouse and questioned members of staff who live in mews properties at the back of the residence.

The heiress appeared to have suffered an overdose, but pathologists have been unable to find an immediate cause of death due to the state of her body and have ordered further tests.

Mr Rausing's whereabouts during that period and knowledge about what happened is a key part of the police inquiry. It is understood that another crucial line of investigation is the source for any drugs that may have killed her.

Mr Rausing was arrested in south London on Monday morning and class A drugs were allegedly found in his possession, sources said.

It was not until Monday afternoon that officers discovered the body of Mrs Rausing at the couple's five-storey home.

Police then re-arrested Mr Rausing in connection with his wife's death.

Interviews were halted on Tuesday when he was taken to a clinic, apparently suffering from the effects of drug withdrawal.

Mr Rausing's family, who established the Swedish Tetra Pak drinks carton empire, are worth an estimated £4.5bn (€5.7bn) and were last year ranked as Britain's 12th richest in the 'Sunday Times' Rich List. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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