One law for the billionaires? Tetra Pak heir and wife caught with crack cocaine and heroin won't face court
A fabulously wealthy couple caught with a huge haul of cocaine, crack and heroin are to escape prosecution. Eva Rausing, whose 45-year-old husband Hans is an heir to the multi-billion-pound Tetra Pak drinks carton empire, was caught trying to smuggle heroin and crack into a function at the American Embassy in London. When police searched the couple’s £10million home in exclusive Cadogan Place, Chelsea, they found more crack and heroin – and £2,000 worth of cocaine.
[imgl="white"]http://www.drugs-forum.com/photopost/uploads/45583/article-1039493-021C4B4400000578-483_468x1031.jpg[/imgl]Hans and Eva Rausing: They will not even have criminal records
Typically, addicts caught with such huge quantities of drugs will face a prison sentence. But at Westminster magistrates’ court yesterday, it was revealed that all charges are being dropped after a ‘protracted correspondence’ between their lawyers and the Crown Prosecution Service.
Instead, they will each accept a ‘conditional caution’, which will probably involve them promising to attend drug misuse programmes. They will not even have criminal records, although the cautions will be recorded on police files. Critics said the move adds to the belief among many observers that the rich and famous are ignoring drugs laws with impunity. When he took office, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair announced that middle-class addicts who snort cocaine at dinner parties are not above the law.
But he was embarrassed when the force failed to prosecute model Kate Moss despite the publication of images of her snorting cocaine. Last night, a spokesman for campaign group Europe Against Drugs said: ‘There is a general acceptance in society that cocaine use among celebrities is almost fine. It appears there is one law for normal people and another for celebrities.’ Neither Mr Rausing nor his 44-year-old wife appeared in court yesterday, when their solicitor made an extraordinary suggestion that the Press should be asked to leave to keep proceedings secret. The hearing was held in public as is usual.
Before the hearing, Mr Rausing’s family issued a statement in which they said: ‘We hope with all our hearts that Hans K and Eva can overcome their addiction and we continue to do what we can to help.’ Court documents revealed that Mr Rausing was charged with possessing 0.2oz of crack cocaine, 0.1oz of heroin and almost 1.8oz of cocaine at his home. Mrs Rausing faced charges of possessing Class A and Class C drugs.
But Martha Godwin, prosecuting, said the charges were being dropped, and police were issuing conditional cautions instead. District Judge Timothy Workman said the drugs charges would be formally discontinued at a hearing next month. The Rausings’ solicitor Philip Smith, told the court: ‘That is a course that is acceptable to them both.
‘There has been a protracted course of correspondence from my office to the Crown Prosecution Service to enable them to make that very sensible decision.’
Mr Rausing stands to inherit the £5.4billion Tetra Pak empire built up by his Swedish father, also named Hans – who also lives in Britain. The family are said to have the seventh largest fortune in Britain. The Rausings own numerous properties, including a £50million estate in Barbados and a 3,000-acre retreat in East Sussex. Mr and Mrs Rausing have contributed huge sums to addiction charities, and Mr Rausing was long believed to have dabbled in drugs. But only after American-born Mrs Rausing’s arrest did it become public that both were addicted to crack and heroin. After being arrested, Mrs Rausing, the daughter of a Pepsi-Cola executive, said: ‘I intend to seek the help that I very much need. I am ashamed of my actions.’
OFFENCE THAT CAN MEAN LIFE
The maximum sentence for possession of Class A drugs is seven years in prison. And those convicted of possession with intent to supply - charges which can apply even to those providing only their own friends and relatives with drugs with no intention of making any profit - can be jailed for life.
The sentences sound tough, but in practice the maximum penalties are almost never imposed. And as drug consumption has soared, taking Britain to near the top of the European table for cocaine abuse, there has been a huge growth in the use of cautions instead of full prosecutions leading to conviction. Labour’s downgrading of cannabis has led to a fall in prosecutions over possession of that drug, but those caught with small amounts of cocaine also have a good chance of escaping with a caution. Most people, however, would have a lot of explaining to do if caught with £2,000 worth of cocaine, plus crack and heroin.
Hans Rausing might have struggled to explain why he had so much cocaine for personal use, but with his enormous fortune he could argue that he had no intention of profiting from the stash. Figures show that when the Metropolitan Police choose to prosecute for drugs offences, they have a 95 per cent conviction rate.
Source: Daily Mail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ght-crack-cocaine-heroin-wont-face-court.html
By Neil Sears
Last updated at 12:57 AM on 30th July 2008
The U.S. Embassy in London where drugs were discovered
Pic from Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...muggling-crack-cocaine-heroin-US-Embassy.html