Monday 23 October 2017

Heiress's body lay under pile of bin bags for months

Hans Kristian and Eva Rausing on their wedding day (Family handout/PA)
Hans Kristian and Eva Rausing on their wedding day (Family handout/PA)

Sam Marsden in London

The decomposing body of Eva Rausing was found under a pile of bedding, clothing and bin bags that had been gaffer-taped together. She was discovered two months after she was last seen alive, a court heard yesterday.

Her husband, Hans Kristian Rausing, the heir to the Tetra Pak fortune, appeared before a district judge charged with preventing the lawful and decent burial of her body.

The preliminary hearing at West London Magistrates' Court was told that officers went to the couple's £70m (€90m) home in Chelsea, west London, and discovered Mrs Rausing's body in the "secure annexe" of a second-floor bedroom on July 9.

She was lying under a pile of clothes, bed linen and bin bags "several feet deep" and was in an "advanced state of decomposition", the court heard.

Brinkman May, prosecuting, said Mrs Rausing (48) was last seen by a financial consultant on May 3.

Crack

Her husband was represented at the 10-minute hearing by Alexander Cameron, the elder brother of British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Mr Rausing, whose family established the Swedish drinks carton empire, was arrested in Wandsworth, south London, at 11am on July 9 on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Police could not smell alcohol on his breath but his pupils were dilated, and a search of the car revealed a crack pipe in the footwell as well as a quantity of cannabis and a substance believed to be cocaine, the court heard.

The court was told that Mrs Rausing returned to London from a rehabilitation unit in California on April 29, and appeared unwell, with a swollen face and right leg, when she was last seen by a member of the couple's housekeeping staff.

Mr Rausing (49) looked ashen-faced, his hands crossed in his lap, as he sat in the dock beside a security guard.

Confirming his name and address, he spoke clearly but quickly with a slight Swedish accent. He was not asked to enter a plea.

District Judge James Henderson released Mr Rausing on bail on condition that he resides at the Capio Nightingale psychiatric hospital in Marylebone, central London, and does not leave unless he is accompanied by a member of hospital staff.

Mr Rausing was ordered to appear before Isleworth Crown Court in west London on July 26.

Mr Rausing's parents, Hans and Marit, said in a statement released after the hearing that they were mourning the death of their son's "beloved" wife.

They added: "Her death, and the details of subsequent events, are a reminder of the distorted reality of drug addiction."

US-born Mrs Rausing met her future husband at a rehabilitation clinic near London and they married in October 1992.

Her family said they were clear of drugs for the first 12 years together, but relapsed and were plagued by addiction to crack cocaine. Neighbours claimed they had lived in two squalid rooms of their home.

The couple gave away millions of pounds of their fortune, in particular supporting drugs charities.

Mrs Rausing's father, Tom Kemeny (71), a retired Pepsi-Cola executive from South Carolina, said: "Eva and Hans Kristian saved thousands of lives -- tragically not her own.

"This is a stark reminder that the illness of addiction knows no social class or gender." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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