Tetra Pak heir given suspended jail term
The Local/AFP · 1 Aug 2012, 15:54
Published: 01 Aug 2012 12:20 GMT+02:00
Updated: 01 Aug 2012 15:54 GMT+02:00
- 'Rausing lay dead for three weeks': report (15 Jul 12)
- Tetra Pak heir suspected of murdering wife (13 Jul 12)
- Death of Tetra Pak heir's wife a 'mystery': police (11 Jul 12)
The ten month jail sentence has been suspended for two years and Rausing will only serve time behind bars if he commits another offence during that time.
Before the Isleworth Crown Court in London, Rausing said that he pleaded guilty to both the charge of preventing his wife’s burial and to the second charge of drunk driving.
Millionaire Rausing was originally arrested on suspicion of murdering his wife Eva, but the charges were later changed to preventing the lawful and decent burial of his 48-year-old US-born spouse.
Police discovered the body of the late Eva Rausing after having picked up her husband for a drunk driving offence in Wandsworth, London, in the beginnng of July.
According to the British Guardian newspaper, officers found post addressed to Mrs Rausing as well as drug paraphernalia in his car.
Searching the couple's mansion in Chelsea, police accessed an annexe on the second floor of the house, which staff were not permitted to enter.
In a room, sealed off with gaffer tape, they found the decomposing remains of Mrs Rausing, which they later found had been sprinkled with deodorising powder, according to the paper.
The Rausings enjoyed an affluent lifestyle but battled for years against addiction.
The couple, who have four teenage children, first met at an addiction clinic and were charged in 2008 after Eva tried to take crack cocaine and heroin into a function at the US embassy in London, but were later released.
The prosecutor on Wednesday confirmed that all suspicions that Rausing was responsible for the death of his wife have been abandoned.
“No other charges will be added apart from the drunk driving,” the prosecutor said, according to daily Aftonbladet.
In a statement that Hans Rausing prepared for the police, he said that he is feeling more mentally stable since being sectioned to a clinic in the beginning of July and that he now fully understands that his wife is dead.
“I was traumatized by her death, I don’t know how she died. I didn’t act rationally after her death but tried to carry on as if she was still alive,” Rausing wrote.
He added: "I believe, in the period since Eva died, I have suffered some
form of breakdown.
Rausing also confirmed that he had tried to do something about the smell where his wife’s body was putrefying.
Rausing has been staying at a psychiatric hospital since the last hearing on July 18th. Photographs in the British press this week showed him looking dishevelled while being accompanied by a helper on a shopping trip.
The family, headed by Rausing's father Hans, is worth 4.3 billion pounds ($6.64 billion), according to this year's Sunday Times Rich List.
Hans Rausing, 86, moved to England in the 1980s in order to avoid Sweden's high tax rates and lives with his wife Marit on a vast estate in Sussex, southeast England.
He developed the Tetra Pak business, which had been founded by his own father in 1944, into a multi-billion dollar operation that revolutionised the packaging of food and drink.