Hans Rausing admits keeping body of wife Eva weeks after drugs death
HANS Rausing has admitted keeping dead wife’s body in their home for two months after her death because of “didn’t want her to leave”.
• Eva Rausing’s body discovered by police on 9 July
• Post-mortem established date of death as 7 May
• Couple had long history of drug abuse
Rausing, one of Britain’s richest men, avoided jail today and was given a suspended sentence for preventing wife Eva being given a proper burial.
Police discovered the body of mother-of-four Mrs Rausing after they arrested her husband – heir to the Tetra Pak millions – on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs on 9 July.
A post-mortem established that she died on 7 May and had drugs in her system, including cocaine, Isleworth Crown Court, in west London, heard.
Her decomposing body was found in their luxury London home, hidden under a pile of clothing and bin bags which had been taped together.
Rausing admitted preventing the lawful and decent burial of Mrs Rausing’s body and driving a vehicle while unfit through drugs and was given two suspended sentences after Judge Richard McGregor-Johnson told him his behaviour was “an illustration of the utterly destructive effects of drug misuse”.
The court heard that Rausing told police in a statement after his arrest: “I do not have a very coherent recollection of the events leading up to and since Eva’s death. Safe to assure you that I have never wished her or done her any harm.”
The judge said: “If ever there was an illustration of the utterly destructive effects of drug misuse on individuals and their families, it is to be found in the facts of this case.
“You and your wife had every material advantage imaginable, and for a time a happy family life. Your relapse into the misuse of drugs, together with that of your wife, destroyed all that.”
He said he accepted that the medical evidence, including that of the examination of Mrs Rausing’s pacemaker and the toxicology report, suggests that she died of heart failure coupled with the effects of drugs.
He added: “There is no evidence to suggest the involvement of anyone else, including you, in her death.”
The judge accepted the suggestion of a psychiatrist that, having been present when his wife died, Rausing was “unable to cope with that and suffered some sort of breakdown”.
But the judge added: “That does not, in my view, entirely explain your conduct, nor does it completely absolve you of responsibility for it. In carrying out your intentions, you acted with deceit and deliberation, equipping yourself with items you used to try to prolong the act of concealment.”
In a prepared statement to the police, read to the court, Rausing denied supplying his wife with drugs. “I have been very traumatised since her death. I do not know what caused her death, I did not feel able to confront the reality of her death.”
Alexander Cameron, QC, defending, told the court that a psychiatrist’s report described Rausing’s reaction to his wife’s death as one of “overwhelming emotional trauma”.
Rausing is said to have told the psychiatrist: “I know it is selfish but I didn’t want her to leave.”
Rausing was given a 10-month prison sentence suspended for two years for preventing the lawful and decent burial of his wife.
A second two-month prison sentence suspended for two years was imposed to run concurrently after he admitted a charge of driving while unfit through drugs.
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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