Rausing pleads guilty to delaying heiress wife's burial

Tom Kemeny poses with his daughter Eva Louise on her wedding day.

Story highlights

  • Hans Kristian Rausing is given two suspended sentences in court
  • He admits charges of delaying the burial of his wife and of driving while unfit
  • The body of Eva Rausing was discovered by police in July
  • Hans Kristian Rausing is the son of one of the world's wealthiest men
The son of one of the world's wealthiest men pleaded guilty Wednesday at a west London court to a charge of preventing the lawful and decent burial of his wife, Eva Rausing, a court spokesman said.
Hans Kristian Rausing was charged last month after his wife's decomposing body was discovered by police when they searched the couple's central London mansion after stopping him on suspicion of driving under the influence.
He also pleaded guilty at Isleworth Crown Court to driving a vehicle while unfit to drive through drugs, a court spokeswoman said.
Rausing, 49, was given two suspended sentences, one for each charge.
On the charge of preventing his wife's lawful burial, he was handed a 10-month sentence suspended for two years. He was given a two-month sentence suspended for two years for the driving offense.
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Rausing was also ordered to undergo a drug rehabilitation program and to remain under the supervision of a probation officer for two years. He must provide samples to be tested for drugs when required.
"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," said Judge Richard McGregor-Johnson, according to the Press Association news agency.
"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."
The news agency said 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."
Both Eva and Han Kristian Rausing, who had four children together, had battled with addiction for decades.
The court was told that Eva Rausing had returned to London on April 29 after having spent time in a clinic in California, PA reported.
The court heard that a pacemaker she had been fitted with because of heart problems indicated that the likely time of death was early on May 7, the news agency said.
The 48-year-old's body was found on a bedroom floor on July 9, concealed under trash bags and clothing, the news agency said. A toxicology report revealed traces of cocaine, opiates and amphetamines in her body.
Eva's Rausing's father paid a moving tribute to his daughter, describing her as an "American philanthropist, loving wife and mother, who helped countless addicts and children."
Her husband is the son of Hans Rausing, who is worth an estimated $10 billion, thanks to the family's connection to Swedish packaging giant Tetra Laval.
A statement released last month on behalf of his parents, Hans and Marit Rausing, by a public relations firm representing the family said they were mourning the death of their son's "beloved wife," Eva.
"Her death, and the details of subsequent events, are a reminder of the distorted reality of drug addiction," the statement said. "They desperately hope that their dear son, Hans, may find the strength to begin the long and hard journey of detoxification and rehabilitation."