Metro : MI6 spy Gareth Williams 'found in a padlocked holdall'

Thursday, September 02, 2010

MI6 spy Gareth Williams 'found in a padlocked holdall'

The body of MI6 code-breaker Gareth Williams was found in a holdall that was padlocked shut, an inquest heard.

by Joel Taylor | September 2, 2010

His corpse appeared to be in an ‘advanced state of decay’ when it was discovered in a government-owned flat in Pimlico on August 23, a spokeswoman at Westminster coroner’s court said.

Police broke into the top-floor flat after the 30-year-old failed to turn up for work at the MI6 headquarters, where he was days away from finishing a year’s work placement. A post-mortem examination carried out two days later failed to establish a cause of death and investigations are continuing, the court heard, before the inquest was adjourned until Wednesday next week.

Coroner Dr Paul Knapman will consider when to release the body so a funeral can take place, a court spokeswoman said.

There were no members of his family in court. Mr Williams was last seen alive eight days before his body was discovered – but it remains unknown if the sighting was made on CCTV or came from another source.

The Met’s Homicide Command is leading the inquiry, alongside the security-vetted Counter Terror Command division.

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

Mr Williams was not stabbed or shot and there were no obvious signs of strangulation, the court was told.