UK & World News

  • 14 December 2012, 19:05

Eva Rausing Died Of Drugs Dependency

Multimillionairess Eva Rausing died as a result of dependent drug abuse, an inquest has ruled.

The 48-year-old's body lay undiscovered for two months before she was found at the 5m west London home she shared with her husband Hans, heir to the Tetra Pak fortune.

She was found in a fly-filled room hidden under a pile of bedding with a foil pipe in her hand, Westminster Coroner's Court heard.

Police found the mother-of-four's body in an advanced state of decomposition after they had arrested Hans Rausing on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs on July 9.

He was given two suspended sentences in August after admitting preventing the lawful and decent burial of his wife's body.

A post-mortem found his wife had died on May 7 and had drugs in her system. Toxicology reports showed cocaine, opiates and amphetamines in her blood.

She had been fitted with a pacemaker following heart surgery in August 2006, which revealed she had suffered a "non-survivable" heart rhythm on the morning of May 7.

Deputy coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe said Mrs Rausing died as a result of cocaine intoxication contributed to by a heart condition - tricuspid valve disease.

Delivering her verdict, she said: "Mrs Rausing's death was as a result of the dependent abuse of drugs."

The inquest heard that her pacemaker recorded heartbeats up to 384 beats per minute on the calculated day of her death. The normal rate is 65.

Pathologists found no signs of violence on Mrs Rausing's body.

In a statement read to the inquest, Mr Rausing said he had been left devastated by the death of his "beloved wife".

He explained how he discovered Mrs Rausing after hearing her slide off the bed while he was in the bathroom.

"She landed sideways and her head was resting on a pillow," Mr Rausing said. "I tried to pull her up. I shouted 'Eva, Eva, Eva'."

Mr Rausing said he could see his wife's eyes dim before covering her lifeless body with duvets and bedding.

"I could not cope with her dying or confront the reality of her death," he added.

An investigating officer told the court how Hans Rausing lied to his housekeepers after his wife died, saying she was in the US.

The couple lived a reclusive life on the second floor of their home. Housemaids were not allowed into certain areas. The hearing was told that staff noticed Hans Rausing had stopped sleeping in his bedroom and had started eating downstairs.

The couple had fought a public battle against addiction to drugs.

In 2008 police launched an investigation after Mrs Rausing was caught with drugs as she tried to enter the US Embassy in London for a function.

Subsequent searches of her car and the couple's Georgian townhouse uncovered huge quantities of class A drugs.

They faced drug charges but were given conditional cautions instead, meaning the hearings did not go ahead.

Hans Rausing's parents and siblings said then they were supporting the pair as they fought to overcome drug addiction.

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