Sun : Tributes at dead spy's funeral

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tributes at dead spy's funeral

By NEIL MILLARD | September 24, 2010

MI6 spy Gareth Williams was laid to rest today weeks after the bizarre circumstances of his death rocked the intelligence community.

The head of MI6 Sir John Sawers attended the service at the small Bethel Methodist Chapel in Anglesey, North Wales, to support his devastated family.

Mr Williams, 31, was on secondment at the Secret Intelligence Service, from GCHQ in Cheltenham, when he was found dead last month.

His body was padlocked in a holdall and placed in the bath at his flat in London's exclusive Pimlico.

Mystery still surrounds the death -- no trace of drugs or alcohol was found in the cycling fan's body -- and the police investigation is ongoing.

Outside church, Sir John, the public face of MI6, said it was not for him to say if cops would ever get to the bottom of his death.

He said: "It has been a desperately sad period for the family since Gareth died.

"It has been very difficult for them and I wanted to be here today as the only public face of the Secret Intelligence Service.

"My deepest sympathies go to the family.

"Gareth was a hugely talented person and he was very modest and generous as well.

"He did really valuable work with us in the cause of national security."

Islwyn Williams, headteacher at the code breaker's former primary school, led tributes inside the church.

He said he had made the strongest lasting impression on him and was academically brilliant.

Williams had moved up to secondary school aged just ten and passed his maths GCSE aged 13.

He added: "He accomplished more in three short decades than the rest of us do in a lifetime."

The pine-coloured coffin was accompanied into church by his parents Ian and Ellen and sister Ceri.

Mr Williams was last seen alive eight days before his body was found.

He was seen shopping at Harrods on CCTV and at Holland Park tube station.

Cops have refused to label the death as a murder.

Mr Williams died just days before he was due to complete the one-year secondment to Britain's foreign intelligence service in London's Vauxhall.