Daily Mail : Body of MI6 spy had been padlocked into a sports bag in bath

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Body of MI6 spy had been padlocked into a sports bag in bath

By Charlotte Gill | September 1, 2010

The body of murdered MI6 spy Gareth Williams had been padlocked into a sports holdall in his ensuite bathroom, an inquest heard yesterday.

Police went to his flat and found him dead in the bag in the bath after being asked to check on his 'welfare' because he had not been seen at work.

Coroner Dr Paul Knapman said that the 31-year-old's body would not be released for at least a week while further tests are carried out to ascertain how he met his death.

The first post mortem failed to find a cause of death and police now await the results of toxicology tests which can take weeks.

Detectives hope they will reveal whether the cipher and codes expert was drugged, poisoned or smothered or if alcohol was in his system.

A second 'examination of the body' was conducted earlier this week.

Pathologists are thought to be searching for any evidence which would suggest a professional 'hit' and have been scrutinising the area around his neck.

A seasoned assassin may be able to inflict a 'discreet' neck wound that could kill even though it would not look as obvious as a snapped neck.

Another possibility is that Mr Williams was injected with a deadly toxin.

The inquest at the City of Westminster Coroner's Court heard that Mr Williams's body was in an 'advanced state of decay' and was identified through a photograph provided by his family.

Dr Knapman said: 'On Monday August 23rd, police were called to check on the welfare of Gareth Williams at his home address as he had not been seen at work.

'At about 6.30pm that evening I understand police entered the premises. They found a large holdall in the bath in the ensuite bathroom of the main bedroom. The holdall was padlocked shut and inside was a lifeless body.'

He said the post-mortem examination carried out failed to establish a cause of death.

No members of Mr Williams's family, who live in Anglesey, North Wales, were in court yesterday but coroner's officer Kim Bedwell said they were aware of the inquest being opened.

She described Mr Williams's occupation as 'civil servant' and said he was single.

Detective Chief Inspector Jackie Sebire, who is leading the police investigation, appealed for anyone who knew Mr Williams or had seen him in the weeks before he died to contact police.

The cycling fanatic was in London from August 11 and the last confirmed sighting of him was on August 15, eight days before his body was found in his £400,000 flat in Pimlico, central London, half a mile from MI6 HQ.

He had been days from completing a year's secondment at the intelligence service and was due to return to his job at the Government's listening post, GCHQ, in Cheltenham this week.

Dr Knapman adjourned the case for one week until September 8 when he will see 'how tests and enquiries are going'.

He said: 'The family will be anxious to have the body released following post mortem.

We have talked about this and I am not inclined to allow this to occur at the present time.'