Ginia Rinehart's bodyguard dies

ANDREW HORNERY
Last updated 12:36 28/03/2014

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It has all the hallmarks of a Hollywood script: a grieving wealthy Australian heiress, a suite at London's luxurious Dorchester Hotel and a dead bodyguard, who was an Australian war hero.

However for Ginia Rinehart, 27, the youngest of mining magnate Gina Rinehart's four children and the only one to side with her mother throughout the family's bitter legal feud, the events of Sunday, March 16, are all too real.

This morning, Scotland Yard confirmed that officers and paramedics attended a suite at the Dorchester Hotel following reports of a man suffering from a cardiac arrest.

The suite belonged to Ginia Rinehart, who found her 35-year-old bodyguard Jerry Rouwhorst and raised the alarm.

Sources said Rouwhorst had attempted to take his life before Rinehart found him in an adjoining room to her suite.

Rouwhorst, originally from Tasmania, was commended for bravery while he served in the Australian Army in 2007 after he rescued a man during a riot in East Timor.

A notice of the commendation was published just two days before he was taken to St Mary's Hospital in Paddington.

He died three days later.

Rouwhorst's family travelled to London to be by his side before he was taken off life support.

A death notice in Tasmania's The Advocate newspaper last week said: "Jerry flashed like a meteor across the sky ... and burnt out too soon."

The Rouwhorsts are understood to have made arrangements for his body to be returned to Leith in Tasmania for a private funeral.

The Scotland Yard spokesman said the death was being treated as "non suspicious", referring all inquiries to the Westminster Coroner's Court, which opened an inquest on Wednesday into the death.

The inquest has been adjourned to a future date.

The Rineharts have not responded to repeated requests for information about the incident and it is understood Ginia was reunited with her mother in Paris last week.

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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