Tetra Pack billionaire Hans Kristian Rausing has been sentenced after admitting preventing the lawful and decent burial of his wife, Eva Rausing.
The body of Eva Rausing, 48, was discovered at the couple’s house in Belgravia, London, on 9 July.
Hans Kristian Rausing, 49, was sentenced to 10 months in custody, suspended for two years, at Isleworth Crown Court.
Judge Richard McGregor-Johnson said the case illustrated the “utterly destructive effects of drug misuse”.
A second two-month prison sentence, also suspended for two years, was imposed to run concurrently after he admitted a charge of driving while unfit through drugs.
Hans Kristian Rausing was also ordered to attend a residential drug rehabilitation treatment programme for two years.
Hans Kristian Rausing has been sentenced after admitting preventing the lawful and decent burial of his wife, Eva Rausing
Police discovered the body of mother-of-four Eva Rausing in an advanced state of decomposition after they arrested her husband.
In a statement read to the court earlier, Hans Kristian Rausing said he had been unable to confront the reality of his wife’s death.
The court heard that Hans Kristian 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.”
He added: “I did not supply her 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.
“I do not feel, with the benefit of hindsight, that following her death I acted rationally.
“I tried to carry on as if her death had not happened and batted away any inquiries about her.”
In a separate statement read to the court, Hans Kristian Rausing’s doctor said his patient had told him: “I know it sounds selfish but I just didn’t want her to leave.”
His doctor described him as a shy, socially awkward man who could not cope with the overwhelming emotional trauma of his wife’s death.
Hans Kristian Rausing was stopped by police on 9 July on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
A subsequent search of the couple’s home led to the discovery of Eva Rausing’s body under a pile of bin bags, clothing and bed linen in a room which had been sealed with gaffer tape.
A post-mortem examination to determine the cause of her death proved inconclusive.
Medical reports showed that she probably died on 7 May. Initial toxicology reports showed the presence of drugs in her system.
Prosecutor James O’Connell said Eva Rausing had expressed concerns about her husband’s “chaotic lifestyle” to her financial adviser on 3 May, the last time she was seen by witnesses.
Hans Kristian Rausing’s family is said to be worth more than $6 billion.
They made their fortune from the Tetra Pak carton firm, although the family exited the company in 1995.
In sentencing, Judge McGregor-Johnson told Hans Kristian Rausing: “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.
“It is graphically illustrated by the contrast between the rooms visitors saw and the utter squalor of the rooms you really lived in.”
The couple had struggled with drug addiction for many years.
After an earlier court appearance, Hans Kristian Rausing’s parents issued a statement, saying they hoped their son could “find the strength to begin the long and hard journey of detoxification and rehabilitation”.
In 2008, Eva Rausing and her husband faced drug charges after crack, heroin and 52 g of cocaine were found in their home.
Eva Rausing had been arrested after she allegedly tried to smuggle small amounts of crack cocaine and heroin into the US embassy in London.
Hans Kristian Rausing, husband of late millionairess Eva Rausing, is due in court today charged with delaying her burial.
American-born Eva Rausing was found dead in the bedroom of the couple’s London house in Cadogan Place, Belgravia, on 9 July.
Hans Kristian Rausing, 49, whose family is said to be worth more than £4bn, has been charged with preventing the lawful and decent burial of her body.
He is due to appear at West London Magistrates’ Court later.
Hans Kristian Rausing, husband of late millionairess Eva Rausing, is due in court today charged with delaying her burial
Police are treating the death of Eva Rausing as “unexplained” and a post-mortem examination held last week failed to establish a formal cause of death.
Eva Rausing was stopped by police on 9 July on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
A subsequent search of the couple’s home led to the discovery of Eva Rausing’s body.
The couple, who have four children, were well known for their philanthropic activities having donated millions over to years to charities, especially those working in the field of drug abuse and rehabilitation.
The Rausing family made billions from the Tetra Pak carton firm.
Tetra Pak billionaire Hans Kristian Rausing has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of his wife Eva Rausing, an inquest heard yesterday.
Police are still waiting to quiz Hans Kristian Rausing, 49, after interviews were suspended on Tuesday so he could be treated for alcohol withdrawal.
Yesterday Hans Kristian Rausing remained in a secure medical facility for treatment and is not fit to be questioned.
Hans Kristian Rausing was first arrested on alleged drugs charges and then later re-arrested on suspicion of murder when his wife’s body was found.
Eva Rausing may have been dead for up to a week before her corpse was discovered.
Hans Kristian Rausing has a large legal team at the inquest, which opened today, headed by legal heavyweight and 7/7 barrister Neil Saunders QC.
Detective Inspector Sharon Marman told Westminster Coroner’s Court yesterday: “We have not yet been in a position to interview Mr Rausing. He has been arrested on suspicion of her murder and we await notification of when he would be fit to be interviewed by police.”
Outlining the facts of the case, she added: “On Monday July 9 this year police had the occasion to stop Hans Rausing driving a car in Wandsworth.
“The officer suspected that the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
“As a result he was arrested and his car was searched.
“Within the car a small amount of drugs were found and he was taken back to Wandsworth police station.
“An authority was granted to search his home address. During the course of the search officers found the apparently lifeless body of a female in one of the bedrooms.
“That female has been identified as Eva Louise Rausing.”
Eva Rausing may have been dead for up to a week before her corpse was discovered
The court was told Eva Rausing’s father Thomas Kemeny supplied identifying details to the coroner.
Deputy coroner Shirley Radcliffe will review the case at a private hearing in October.
It is thought police are investigating how long Eva Rausing was dead before she was found dead in her home in Cadogan Place, Chelsea, west London. It is thought it could have been up to a week.
Police have been questioning members of staff at their Cadogan Place home and reviewing CCTV tapes in efforts to establish when she was last seen alive.
The couple’s drug addiction has been well documented over the years and recent photos appeared to show the pair in a fragile state.
In 2008 they were investigated by police over drugs but the prosecution was formally discontinued.
Hans Kristian Rausing with drugs offences after police found crack cocaine, cocaine and heroin during a search of his home.
After lengthy discussions between his legal team and prosecutors, he accepted a conditional police caution instead.
The couple was arrested in April that year after Eva Rausing was caught with drugs as she tried to enter the US Embassy in London.
Court documents revealed that Eva Rausing, then 44, was carrying about 10 g of crack cocaine, 2.5 g of heroin and 2.35 g of diethylpropion, a banned stimulant and appetite suppressant.
A further drugs stash – 220 mg of diazepam, used to treat anxiety – was also found in her Renault Clio car.
The couple’s townhouse was subsequently searched. Officers found 5.63 g of crack cocaine, 2.9 g of heroin and almost 52 g of cocaine.
The conditional cautions, administered by a senior local officer, meant the couple admitted possessing the drugs.
Yesterday mother of tragic Eva Rausing, 48, has revealed her daughter flew home from a drugs rehabilitation centre in the United States in the days before her death after her husband failed to join her as planned.
Nancy Kemeny believes her daughter – who had a pacemaker after having a heart valve replaced – died from heart problems triggered by the flight to London.
She said Eva Rausing had come home to try to persuade her husband, Hans Kristian, an heir to the $7.2 billion Tetra Pak drinks carton fortune, to join her for treatment.
And, in an emotional interview, Nancy Kemeny also claimed her son-in-law had been “cleared” by police of involvement in the death.
Scotland Yard officers are waiting to question Hans Kristian Rausing, who is receiving treatment at a secure medical facility, about his wife’s death.
They also need to find out if, as has been suggested, he lived in their $112 million Belgravia mansion for three or four days while her body was in the house.
The fabulously rich couple are said to have existed in virtual squalor in just two rooms of the house as they battled long-term drug problems.
Eva Rausing’s body was found in an upstairs bedroom on Monday when police carried out a search after her husband was arrested in possession of Class A drugs while driving erratically in South London.
A post-mortem examination failed to discover the cause of death. Police are awaiting the results of toxicology and other tests.
Shortly before her death, Eva Rausing had been at a rehabilitation centre in California – the couple had actually met some 20 years earlier at a clinic in the UK – and was due to be joined by her husband.
Nancy Kemeny, whose husband Tom is a Pepsi executive, said: “They were going to go to America, both were going to go.
“Eva was there, she didn’t hear from him, she got worried, she came back home to get him to go back with her. Unfortunately, I think the flying did something with her heart.
“She’d never gone back to the doctor after the valve had been replaced as she was supposed to. She just didn’t go.
“I think it was this flying back and forth from California to London and back again that may have cost her.”
She also said Eva Rausing had a strong influence over his wife.
“She was with us at Christmas, which was great,” she said.
“It was good, very nice. All the family together, well not Hans, he didn’t come. We waited for him every day.”
She said Eva Rausing didn’t stay very long because she returned to her husband.
“I last spoke to my daughter at Christmas. I don’t text and I don’t know how to email. The last we heard was May 3 when she texted my husband.
“She said something about them getting ready to go back to California. Things were starting to take a more positive turn. We had high hopes.”
Wearing a navy blue trouser suit with a black designer handbag and carrying a plastic bag full of British newspapers, Nancy Kemeny said there was no news of when the body would be released but her daughter would “probably” be buried in South Carolina.
“We’re going to have to speak to her husband and he’s in a hospital,” she added.
Asked if she had already spoken to Hans Kristian Rausing, she said: “No. I’d like to.”
She indicated there was no rift between them. Hans Kristian Rausing is said to have been “devoted” to his wife.
Police are examining CCTV footage to track the couple’s movements as well as those of anyone entering or leaving the Cadogan Place house where they had lived for 13 years.
Their bank records are also being looked at and detectives, assisted by specialists, are studying what are described as Eva Rausing’s “long and extremely complicated medical records” for clues as to what led to the death.
The coroner will open the inquest into the death at Westminster Coroners’ Court today.
Scotland Yard would not comment yesterday on whether Class A drugs were found at the house.
Detectives are investigating a theory that Hans Kristian Rausing may have turned to drugs for “comfort or escape” after his wife’s death.
They are trying to trace a dealer in the Wandsworth area of South London.
College friends of Eva Rausing said yesterday they had been worried about her “reckless” lifestyle even as a student in California in the Eighties.
Maths teacher Lola Muldrew, who still lives in California and was part of the graduating class of 1986, said: “She was kind of scattered, somewhat reckless, but she had this wonderfully warm heart and engaging spirit.”
Socialite Liz Brewer, a friend of Eva Rausing, said: “I think the problem with Eva and her husband is that a lot of the time they were in denial about the drugs they were taking.
“For that reason they would not listen when people tried to bring up the subject and tackle it. The whole thing is tragic.”
Tetra Pak billionaire Hans Kristian Rausing may have lived with his wife Eva’s dead body for up to four days before it was discovered by police.
Despite living in a vast $24 million Belgravia mansion, the couple – who had fought a long battle against addiction to hard drugs – had become increasingly reclusive, confining themselves to two squalid rooms.
Details of the extraordinary and tragic lifestyle of one of Britain’s richest couples emerged as Scotland Yard continued to investigate the “unexplained death” of 48-year-old Eva Rausing.
Investigators now believe Eva Rausing may have been dead for three or four days in an upstairs bedroom of the house before being discovered by police.
Officers are studying phone, text and email messages to see when she last used them and CCTV security footage to try to discover whether Hans Kristian Rausing spent time in the house during the period his wife was dead.
One friend who claimed to have recently visited the Cadogan Place address said the couple has been living virtually in two rooms which he described as a “drugs den”. Much of the sprawling house, he said, was “unused”.
The friend added: “It was total squalor. Really messy. You wouldn’t believe they were billionaires. It shows the effects of drugs.
“They couldn’t look after themselves or their house. They only used two rooms despite having dozens. It’s very sad indeed.”
Hans Kristian Rausing may have lived with his wife Eva’s dead body for up to four days before it was discovered by police
The couple is said to have become “reclusive” in recent months and when he went out Hans Kristian Rausing chose often to use the vast property’s rear entrance.
Last night Hans Kristian Rausing was said to be in a secure “medical facility” receiving treatment. He is said not to have suffered any self-inflicted injuries but to be having treatment for a breakdown.
Recent pictures show Hans Kristian Rausing to be a shadow of his former self and it is understood that when officers tried to question him – initially about the possession of drugs and hours later about the discovery of his wife’s body – he struggled to speak coherently and failed to answer their questions.
Both Hans Kristian and Eva Rausing – friends of Prince Charles – have fought a long, painful battle against drug addiction and both were cautioned four years ago by Scotland Yard for drug offences.
They met while in a drug rehabilitation centre in the United States and friends say they struggled to beat their addictions.
Socialite Liz Brewer, a friend of Eva Rausing, said: “She was totally addicted and was trying to get off it.
“The last time I saw her was a couple of months ago. She had cut herself off from people for a while.
“Eva tried hard to turn things around and went to about every rehab around.
“I heard she may have been dead in the house for a while, but it was rare for him [Hans] to be out of the house for more than a few hours.”
Jules Hearn, a friend for 15 years, said Eva Rausing’s death was “inevitable”. She said her friend had resorted to blood transfusions after years of drug abuse, and relied on a pacemaker to regulate her heart.
After laying a rose outside the Rausings’ house yesterday, she said: “She was a troubled soul. Everyone thought this was going to happen one day. She tried to help herself again and again but it is an illness.”
Police are examining CCTV footage to track the couple’s movements as well as those of anyone entering or leaving the house.
Three members of staff have been questioned. Bank records were also being examined for signs of recent withdrawals or transactions.
A post-mortem examination failed to reveal how Eva Rausing died and toxicology and other tests are under way. There were no obvious injuries or wounds to the body and it is likely to be several days before full results are known.
Scotland Yard would not comment yesterday on whether any Class A drugs were found at the Cadogan Place house where Eva Rausing and her husband had lived for 13 years.
It emerged yesterday that Hans Kristian Rausing was stopped and arrested on Monday while driving erratically in Wandsworth, South London.
He was found to be in possession of Class A drugs and this led police to search the six-storey house where his wife’s body was found.
Neither Hans Kristian or Eva Rausing have fallen foul of the law since the incidents in 2008 when she was stopped trying to take drugs into the US Embassy and heroin and cocaine were subsequently found in their home.
Hans Kristian Rausing’s father, Dr. Hans Rausing, 86, and mother Marit are said to be monitoring the progress of the investigation and their son’s treatment from their 900-acre estate in East Sussex.
Eva Rausing’s devastated parents Tom Kemeny, an executive with Pepsi Cola, and his wife Nancy, who lived close to her in Cadogan Place, have put out a statement acknowledging how “she bravely fought her health issues for years”.
Hans Kristian Rausing, Tetra Pak cartons billionaire and one of Britain’s richest men, was being questioned last night about the mysterious death of his wife Eva.
Hours after Hans Kristian Rausing, 49, was arrested on suspicion of possessing drugs, his wife Eva’s body was found in a bedroom at their London home.
Hans Kristian Rausing, a father-of-four, an heir to the $7.2 billion Tetra Pak drinks carton fortune, was being questioned in connection with what Scotland Yard called an “unexplained death”.
Last night police said Hans Kristian Rausing remained under arrest but had been taken to hospital for medical treatment.
Officials refused to discuss why but the news prompted speculation that he had suffered some kind of breakdown. Earlier, security staff was called in to help download CCTV cameras from the Chelsea mansion and surrounding area.
Hans Kristian Rausing was being questioned last night about the mysterious death of his wife Eva
A post mortem examination was carried out yesterday afternoon on 48-year-old Eva Rausing, but failed to find the cause of death. Further toxicology tests will take place to determine whether drugs or alcohol were responsible.
Her husband of almost 20 years was arrested on suspicion of driving erratically in South London at lunchtime on Monday and was found to be carrying Class A drugs. Officers searched his home to see if more illicit substances were there, and found his wife’s body.
Specialist police teams carried out tests throughout yesterday at the six-storey house in Cadogan Place.
Details of their son’s arrest and daughter-in-law’s death were broken to 86-year-old Hans Rausing and his wife Marit at their 900-acre East Sussex estate. They issued a statement saying they were “deeply shocked and saddened”.
Eva Rausing’s father Tom Kemeny is a former Pepsi executive who owns an island off South Carolina and a property in Barbados with his wife Nancy. The couple also has a $16million property near their late daughter’s home in Cadogan Place.
They said of their daughter: “During her short lifetime she made a huge philanthropic impact, supporting a large number of charitable causes, not only financially, but using her own personal experiences. She bravely fought her health issues for many years. The family is devastated at her death.”
Eva Rausing was a co-patron with the Duchess of Cambridge of the drug charity Action on Addiction. Officials said they were “devastated” by the tragedy.
Within hours of the discovery of the body, police seized security CCTV footage from inside and outside the property focusing on Cadogan Place and a mews at the rear.
Yesterday morning a detective showed a security expert out through a back door of the house and walked up and down the mews lane, working out which CCTV cameras had a view of the Rausings’ back door. An hour later, the security technician removed a CCTV hard disk drive from inside the house.
Neighbors include Philip Havers QC – whose father Michael was Attorney General and then Lord Chancellor before becoming Baron Havers. His brother is the actor Nigel Havers.
In recent weeks, Hans Kristian and Eva Rausing had seen out walking in the area. He often wore a baseball cap while clutching a pack of rolling tobacco. His wife wore cut-off trousers and open-toed sandals.
In addition to their London property, the couple had an 11-bedroom beachside mansion in Barbados and an apartment on The World, a cruise ship for passengers who need to be off shore for tax-avoidance purposes.