Channel 4 : MI6 spy found dead 'padlocked' into sports bag

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

MI6 spy found dead 'padlocked' into sports bag

September 1, 2010

The body of MI6 codebreaker Gareth Williams was found padlocked into a sports bag, police reveal, as the inquest is delayed amid questions over the cause of his death - which Channel 4 News understands was a "neat job".

British spy Gareth Williams was found padlocked into a sports bag, police revealed, as the inquest is delayed with the cause of death still unknown.

The inquest into the British spy's death has been delayed as police work to establish the cause of Mr Williams' death.

He was last seen alive eight days before his corpse was discovered on 23 August, when the police stopped by his flat for a "welfare check" on him after a GCHQ colleague sounded the alarm when he was not seen at work.

Police broke into the top floor flat in Alderney Street, Pimlico, central London, to find Mr Williams' body "padlocked shut" in a sports bag in a bath.

Westminster Coroner's Court heard that the corpse appeared to be in an "advanced state of decay".

A post mortem examination carried out on 25 August failed to establish a cause of death and investigations are continuing, the court heard.

The inquest was adjourned to 8 September.

Coroner Dr Paul Knapman will be kept informed of how the investigation is progressing and consider when to release the body so a funeral can take place, the court spokeswoman said.

On Friday, Mr Williams' family broke their silence to say they have found speculation over whether his sex life could be linked to his death "very distressing". There were no members of his family in court today.

The investigation is being led by the Met's Homicide Command with the security-vetted Counter Terror Command (SO15) also playing a lesser role in proceedings.

Officers are still trying to determine if he was asphyxiated, poisoned or if drugs or alcohol were present in his system.

A pathologist found Mr Williams was not stabbed or shot and there were no obvious signs of strangulation.

Mr Williams was days from completing a one-year secondment to the headquarters of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, in Vauxhall, London.