Channel 4 : MI6 officer inquest sees film of bag holding body

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

MI6 officer inquest sees film of bag holding body

April 24, 2012

The inquest into the death of MI6 officer Gareth Williams is shown police footage for the first time of his flat and of the red holdhall where his body was found.

Detective Chief Inspector Jackie Sebire told the inquest "two minor components of another contributor's DNA" were found on the zip toggle and padlock.

The evidence came to light as she appeared to rule out that Mr Williams had got into the bag himself.

The naked and decomposing body of the MI6 agent was found in a padlocked bag in the bath of his home in Pimlico, central London, in August 2010.

Ms Sebire told Westminster coroner's court: "My thought or my opinion since I went into the scene is that a third party had been involved in the death or by putting the body in the bag. So my primary focus was looking at the bathroom."

Found in the foetal position

Video of the immaculately kept flat where Gareth Williams' body was found showed a cutting from the Observer newspaper headlined: "Top five regrets of the dying".

The video took the inquest on a walking tour of his Pimlico home, showing a woman's red wig, lipstick and make-up, in the condition that it was found.

Footage then showed close-up images of the white bathroom suite where Mr Williams' body was found.

Mr Williams was found in the foetal position in the bag. There were no signs of struggle and his body position appeared "calm", Ms Sebire said.

She said: "In my opinion he was very calm. His face was very calm. His hands were resting on his chest."

'High-value items'

Ms Sebire also described the "high-value" items found in the flat's smaller bedroom, which included 26 shoes and boots, mainly bearing designer labels such as Christian Louboutin, Stella McCartney, Christian Dior and Chloe.

In addition, there were wigs wrapped in net packaging, which "appear to be unused", including one Mr Williams had bought on his recent trip to the US; small and medium-sized female clothing worth an estimated £20,000, all "immaculate" and "in pristine condition" and often in tissue paper; and make-up items, including nail varnish and eye shadow that were apparently unused.

The only used items appeared to be four pairs of the size 6 and 6.5 shoes, which was Mr Williams' size, Ms Sebire said.

No sign of a break-in

Asked by coroner Fiona Wilcox whether she thought the clothes would have fitted Mr Williams, the detective replied: "Possibly."

Mr Williams had not damaged the bag or sustained injuries to his hands, the detective said.

"He was very muscular, he trained regularly. It is only my opinion but I would at least expect some tearing to the netting."

There was no sign of a break-in at the flat, with footage showing Mr Williams had left cash in a cupboard and a mobile phone on the living room table. There was little clutter and mess in the flat except for a dressing gown and quilt discarded on the bedroom floor.

Ms Sebire said: "I also found it difficult to explain because of his general tidiness. In my opinion, it was not something that was easily explainable."

The inquest continues.