This Is London : Last pictures of Gareth Williams, the spy found naked inside a padlocked bag

Monday, September 06, 2010

Last pictures of Gareth Williams, the spy found naked inside a padlocked bag

Justin Davenport, Crime Editor | September 6, 2010

These are the dramatic last images of MI6 codebreaker Gareth Williams days before he was found padlocked in a sports holdall in his flat.

The CCTV pictures show the spy dressed casually and shopping in Knightsbridge and Kensington after returning from a holiday in America.

They were released by Scotland Yard today as detectives appealed for information on a mystery couple who called at his house in Pimlico and were let in through the communal door.

Detectives also revealed further details about Mr Williams's death, saying that he was naked and his body had been zipped and padlocked inside a red North Face hold-all.

The bag had been placed in an empty bath in the en-suite bathroom of his top floor MI6 flat in Alderney Street.

Police said toxicology results had shown that the 31-year-old body contained no trace of alcohol or drugs. There was also no obvious sign that he had been smothered or asphyxiated and further tests are being made.

Detectives also revealed that, contrary to some reports, there was no evidence of anything missing from the flat and no signs of a disturbance. Police said there was no suggestion that items in the flat had been specifically arranged and there were no drugs or signs of drug use.

Detective Chief Inspector Jacqueline Sebire, who is leading the inquiry, said: “We are appealing for anyone who saw or had any contact with Gareth between August 11 and the day his body was found on August 23. This remains a complex, unexplained death inquiry.”

Detectives are trying to trace a man and a woman of Mediterranean appearance who called at 36 Alderney Street late one evening in June or July and were buzzed in through the communal door. Police refused to give further details.

The revelation that Mr Williams was naked inside the bag will add to suspicions that his death was sex-related.

The GCHQ employee, an expert in ciphers and code-breaking, was on a year's secondment to MI6 when he was found dead. Police have so far refused to classify the case as murder but theories for his death range from an assassination by a rival secret service to a sex game that went wrong.

The CCTV images show Mr Williams, wearing a red T-shirt, beige trousers and white trainers, shopping in the West End and Knightsbridge, including Harrods.

Police said Mr Williams had returned to the UK from a holiday in the US on Wednesday August 11. One image shows him entering Holland Park underground station at about 3pm on Saturday August 14.

The next day cameras caught him shopping in Brompton Road. He is seen going to a cash machine and then to Harrods. Later, at about 2.30pm, he was just outside Harrods in Hans Crescent and then heading towards Sloane Street, near the Dolce and Gabbana store. This was the last known sighting of him.

Mr Williams was found by police in his flat on August 23. There was no sign of any forced entry to the property, and no signs of disturbance inside.

Police said they were still carrying out “extensive“ forensic tests on the flat as well as samples taken from the post-mortem examination. They added that although they had found no trace of alcohol or recreational drugs, testing for other substances continues.

Anyone with information should call police on 020 8358 0200 or, anonymously, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.