The wife of Hans Rausing, heir to the Tetra Pak billions, was found in an advanced state of decomposition under a pile of clothing and plastic bags gaffa-taped together two months after she was last seen alive, a court heard today.
Officers made the gruesome discovery on the second floor of an annexe of the couple’s luxury Chelsea home last Monday.
Mr Rausing appeared in front of a judge charged with preventing the decent burial of her body, which was found after he was stopped by police on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Mr Rausing looked frail in a blue shirt and dark suit and spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address. He was unshaven and wearing glasses when he appeared in West London magistrates Court this afternoon.
District Judge James Henderson granted him conditional bail, saying that he must stay at the Capio Nightingale Hospital. The judge added that he must “live there and sleep there overnight, and…not leave that hospital unless…accompanied by a member of hospital staff”.
His wife died of a suspected drug overdose and was said to have looked unwell when last seen in public on 3 May. Both her face and one of her legs were reportedly swollen. Her body was in an “advanced state of decomposition” when it was found.
Her death is being treated as unexplained and an inquest was opened at Westminster Coroner’s Court last Friday.
Her father paid tribute to her, saying: “At the time of her death her overriding concern was for the safety of her beloved husband, for whom she interrupted her own treatment to return to London in an attempt to take him back with her to California, but tragically to no avail.”
Tom Kemeny said his daughter was “a beautiful, generous, and fun daughter, wife, mother, sister and aunt” and added: “Eva and Hans Kristian adored each other and their four beautiful children. When not in London they would have family holidays with their cousins and extended family, without any glitz or glamour.”
In a statement issued after the hearing, Mr Rausing’s parents said: “Hans and Marit Rausing and their families are 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. They desperately hope that their dear son, Hans, may find the strength to begin the long and hard journey of detoxification and rehabilitation. They ask now for some privacy to grieve.”
Mr Rausing was represented by Alexander Cameron QC, the older brother of Prime Minister David Cameron.