Multi-millionaire Hans Kristian Rausing has pleaded guilty to preventing the lawful and decent burial of his wife.
The body of Eva Rausing, 48, was discovered under a pile of bin bags, clothing and bed linen at the couple’s house in Belgravia on 9 July.
It is thought possible Mrs Rausing died two months earlier, Isleworth Crown Court heard.
In a statement read to court, Rausing, 49, said he had been unable to confront the reality of his wife’s death.
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I tried to carry on as if her death had not happened and batted away any inquiries about her”
End Quote Hans Kristian Rausing
The court heard that 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.”
Shy and awkward
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, 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.
Eva Rausing Eva had struggled with drug addiction for many years
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 Mrs Rausing’s body 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 Mrs 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.
Rausing’s family is said to be worth more than £4bn.
‘Find the strength’
They made their fortune from the Tetra Pak carton firm, although the family exited the company in 1995.
Rausing, who also admitted driving a vehicle while unfit through drugs, will be sentenced at a later date.
He was granted bail on condition that he reside at the Capio Nightingale Hospital, a private hospital in London, and only leave the building accompanied by a member of staff.
The couple, who have four children, had struggled with drug addiction for many years.
After an earlier court appearance, 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, Mrs Rausing and her husband faced drug charges after crack, heroin and 52g of cocaine were found in their home.
Mrs Rausing had been arrested after she allegedly tried to smuggle small amounts of crack cocaine and heroin into the US embassy in London.
Charges were then dropped and a caution issued instead.