Daily Mail : Lady's orange wig, lipstick and 'five regrets of the dying' newspaper cutting found alongside body of spy in the bag, and SOMEONE ELSE locked him inside

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lady's orange wig, lipstick and 'five regrets of the dying' newspaper cutting found alongside body of spy in the bag, and SOMEONE ELSE locked him inside

* Fragments of mystery DNA were found on bag holding body but were inconclusive and did not lead detectives anywhere, inquest hears
* Footage of Gareth Williams' body padlocked in a sports holdall in the bath
* Police release pictures of Mr Williams' flat as they found it
* Mr Williams' fingerprints were found in the flat, none were dusted on the bath's edge
* Court shown CCTV of his final days when he went shopping at Harrods

By Matt Blake and Chris Greenwood | April 24, 2012

DNA from a mystery third party was found on the padlocked bag in which the body of MI6 spy Gareth Williams was discovered, police said yesterday.

A Scotland Yard officer revealed that fragments of unidentifiable DNA were found on the zip toggle and small brass travel padlock alongside traces of the code-breaker’s blood.

Detective Chief Inspector Jackie Sebire said it showed that a third party must have padlocked Mr Williams, 31, in the bag and put it in the bath.

But she added that the riddle of how he died remains unsolved despite an exhaustive 21-month investigation.

Under questioning from a barrister representing his family, she admitted there was a surprising lack of forensic evidence in his flat. Anthony O’Toole said: ‘There is not one single scientific item in the flat that could lead to the identification of a third party, is there?’

Mrs Sebire replied: ‘I would not put it as strongly as that. There are unidentified components on the toggle.

‘There is further work to be done. I would not say forensic processing is at an end, although we have done the vast majority.

‘I have always been open-minded but it is my opinion that a third party was involved in that padlock being locked and Gareth being placed in the bath.’

The exchange took place during a dramatic second day of evidence at the inquest into the death of the intelligence service agent in August 2010.

His parents Ian and Ellen, from Anglesey, North Wales, walked out as a disturbing video of the interior of his immaculate flat in Pimlico, Central London, was screened.

It showed how his naked and decomposing body was found curled in a foetal position in a large red North Face holdall in the plain white bathroom.

Mr Williams was uninjured, the heavy duty bag was undamaged and his body position appeared 'calm' with his legs pulled up and arms folded over his chest.

Mrs Sebire told Westminster Coroner’s Court that if Mr Williams had got in the bag voluntarily she would have expected to find his fingerprints on the tiles. She would also have expected to find the fingerprints of whoever hoisted the bag into the bath.

But she added that there was no sign that the flat or the bag had been cleaned to destroy forensic evidence.

Asked if Mr Williams had tried to escape, Mrs Sebire said: ‘He was very muscular, he trained regularly. It is only my opinion but I would at least expect some tearing to the netting inside.’

There was no sign of a break-in at the two-storey flat, cash was left in a cupboard, a mobile phone on the living room table and a laptop on the floor.

Mrs Sebire said there was little mess, with books, CDs and clothes stacked neatly, although a dressing gown and quilt were discarded on the floor near the bathroom. ‘I found this difficult to explain because of his general tidiness,’ she said.

The inquest heard how a £20,000 collection of women’s clothing, including 26 pairs of shoes, some worth up to £1,000, were discovered in the flat. They included labels such as Christian Louboutin, Stella McCartney, Christian Dior and Chloe as well as wigs wrapped in net packaging which appeared unused.

Most of the items were boxed or wrapped in tissue paper and the only used items appeared to be four pairs of the size 6 and 6.5 shoes – Mr Williams’s size. A blonde and red woman’s party wig was left hanging from a chair. Lipstick, foundation and make-up were also found.

Mr Williams had kept a cutting from The Observer newspaper headlined ‘top five regrets of the dying’. The regrets detailed in the article – published on the last day he was seen alive – included failing ‘to live a life true to myself’.

Sian Jones, Mr Williams’s closest friend since they went to primary school, said she did not believe he was a transvestite. ‘I feel like he would have been able to confide in me... and I would not have judged him,’ she added.

She was asked if the spy was in love with her. Miss Jones said Mr Williams was very ‘fond’ of her and showered her with gifts of expensive clothes but they remained ‘just friends’.

The professional stylist said he had confided in her that he was unhappy in London and found it lonely because the MI6 office culture was ‘very cliquey’.

On Monday the inquest heard that Mr Williams, a keen cyclist, had applied to end his secondment to MI6 early and return to the GCHQ listening station in Cheltenham, where he was a code-breaker.

The maths genius had been on secondment to SIS from GCHQ where he had worked since 2001.

But despite being available for operational deployment five months before his bizarre death he was desperate to leave London and had been due to return to Cheltenham a week after his body was found.

The newspaper cutting found near Gareth Williams' body was taken from an article printed in the Observer.

It was based on a book by a Australian palliative nurse Bronnie Ware who recorded the most common dying epiphanies of her patients.

They were:

1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not what others expected.

2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.

3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

His sister Ceri Subbe raised the alarm when she had not spoken to him for 10 days.

On August 23 an officer went to the top floor flat in Alderney Street, less than a mile to the agency headquarters, and found the decomposing body locked in a red North Face holdall.

Today the court saw footage of the large holdall, with Mr Williams inside, bulging in the spotless bathroom with a 15mm Yale brass padlock placed through the two zips where they eyelets matched where they closed at the top of the bag.

The other three North Face bags in the flat were locked with similar locks.

DCI Sebire confirmed that the call from Mrs Subbe was the first the police had heard of his disappearance despite the spook not showing for a meeting on August 16.

She took the family through his last days after he returned from a conference which he extended into a holiday in America on August 11 2010.

That day he shopped at Selfridge before being spotted on CCTV the next day at Harvey Nichols, Waitrose, and Harrods.

On August 13 he popped into the MI6 office before speaking to his sister then going on to watch 'tranny superstar' Jonny Woo at the Bistrotheque in Bethnal Green alone.

Over the next two days he was spotted shopping in Fortnum and Masons, Benetton and Harrods before eventually being seen returning to his flat at 3.05pm with bags of shopping. He was not seen again.

Despite the fears of the family that an agent of the 'dark arts' of the secret service had got rid of any evidence of what happened to him DCI Sebire today reassured the court that she had secured the crime scene and her team has 'primacy' in the investigation and no-one had entered the flat without her permission.

Earlier, his mother, Ellen, walked out on inquest proceedings amid family distress at delays in evidence.

Ellen Williams left the courtroom frustrated about legal submissions holding up the hearing into her son’s death, her lawyer said.

Proceedings were delayed by more than 30 minutes for a second day as a coroner denied media applications to allow a court artist to take notes.

The court has heard how the spy, whose body was discovered in a padlocked bag, was desperate to leave his intelligence post and complained about ‘friction’ at MI6 headquarters.

His family revealed that the 31-year-old was a ‘scrupulous risk assessor’ and a meticulous genius who colleagues compared to a Swiss clock.

But he had become disenchanted with a heavy drinking ‘office culture’, the London ‘rat race’ and work politics at the spy agency’s central Thames-side HQ.

He applied to end his secondment early and return to the GCHQ Government listening station in Cheltenham, where he worked as a highly prized code-breaker.

But just one week before he was due to leave, his naked and decomposing body was found in a large sports holdall in the bath of his home, sparking a huge police investigation.

On Monday, his grieving family attended the first day of a long-awaited inquest into his mysterious death.

Coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox pledged to hold a ‘full and fearless’ inquiry as she heard how Mr Williams wanted to escape the ‘rat race’ of the capital and was frustrated that MI6 had been dragging its feet over the move.

The court heard how the spy was extremely conscientious and his family said he would never let anyone into his flat apart from them.

Meanwhile, MI6 was accused of failing to raise the alarm when he missed a key meeting one week before his body was found.

Revelations about his personal life and claims that no third-party fingerprints or DNA were found in his home fuelled speculation around the circumstances of his death.

The spy's sister, Ceri Subbe, told the inquest her brother was excited when he began what was supposed to be a three-year secondment to MI6 from GCHQ, the Government listening station based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

But he missed the countryside and became disillusioned with the atmosphere at MI6's Vauxhall Cross headquarters in London.

'He disliked office culture, post-work drinks, flash car competitions and the rat race. He even spoke of friction in the office,' Mrs Subbe said.

She added: 'The job was not quite what he expected. He encountered more red tape than he was comfortable with.'

The inquest, in Westminster, heard details of the spy’s life, including how he went to university aged just 16, joining the University of Bangor’s computer science department.

It was also told how the successful cyclist and fell runner followed the arts and fashion and had a £20,000 collection of women’s designer clothing in his wardrobe.

Mrs Subbe said her brother was ‘the most scrupulous risk-assessor’ she had ever known. She said he would meticulously check his equipment before rock climbing, cycling and fell running.

The inquest, which is expected to last eight days, continues.