Telegraph : MI6 spy found dead in a bag: Toxicology tests on body spy prove negative

Thursday, October 28, 2010

MI6 spy found dead in a bag: Toxicology tests on body spy prove negative

By Martin Evans | Oct 28, 2010

Toxicology tests carried out on the body of MI6 spy Gareth Williams have revealed no trace of drugs, alcohol or poison, it has been revealed.

The 30-year-old GCHQ codebreaker's naked and decomposing body was found in a padlocked holdall in the bath of his Pimlico flat on August 23.

Detectives initially feared he may have been murdered by foreign agents because of the sensitive work he was involved in.

But with no exact cause of death established, it was later suggested he may have died as a result of a bizarre sadomasochistic sex game gone wrong.

Having ruled out almost every other possibility, officers believe he probably died after climbing into the bag which was then locked by another person.

It is unclear whether he did so on instructions from the other person or was locked in at his own request, but detectives believe that he was probably involved in some sadomasochistic game in which he got a kick from being helpless.

It is likely that once locked and left in the bag, he died from a combination of causes including suffocation and dehydration, which have been difficult to identify in a post-mortem.

The red North Face holdall was made from a laminate material and had reinforced seams, making it both hot and almost impossible to escape from. The top floor flat is likely to have heated up in the August weather, causing Mr Williams to pass out.

The bag was padlocked from the outside and officers believe the other person was supposed to return to the flat to release him but when they did so, they found him dead.

There was no sign of any forced entry to the property or a disturbance inside and nothing is believed to be missing.

Scotland Yard is still seeking a Mediterranean couple aged between 20 and 30, who were let into the spy’s flat in Alderney Street, Pimlico, central London, late one evening in June or July.

Toxicologists carried out a battery of tests looking for any trace of drugs, alcohol, poisons or any other substance which could have caused his death.

But a Metropolitan Police spokesman said all the tests had come back negative.

The spokesman added: "There are no plans to carry out any further tests of this type, but enquiries continue to try and establish a formal cause of death.”

Mr Williams, 31, a keen cyclist and maths prodigy from Anglesey, North Wales, was found dead in the MI6 flat where he lived while he was on secondment from GCHQ.

He had returned from a holiday in the US on August 11 and was last seen alive on CCTV footage at Holland Park tube station on August 14 and shopping in Harrods in Knightsbridge the following day.

The post mortem results suggest he died soon afterwards but his body was not found until eight days later when colleagues raised the alarm.

Coroner Dr Paul Knapman is due to review the case in private next Wednesday after opening an inquest on September 1.

Mr Williams' body was found by officers who called at his flat after colleagues raised the alarm that he had not been seen for some time.

His family have lashed out at rumours the mathematics prodigy was involved in risky sexual practices, saying they had been "very distressing".