This Is London : Parents of MI6 spy Gareth Williams refuse to watch video of his body in holdall bag

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Parents of MI6 spy Gareth Williams refuse to watch video of his body in holdall bag

Paul Cheston | April 24, 2012

The parents of MI6 spy Gareth Williams today refused to watch a police video of their son dead in a bag in his bath.

Ian and Ellen Williams walked out after coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox spoke of the “severe distress they are operating under and the clear grief they are still experiencing”.

The video led from the front door in Alderney Street, Pimlico, to the en-suite bathroom.

The scarlet red North Face holdall lay in the middle of the small bath. It was locked with a Yale padlock securing the zip and two eyelets in a way, which, the court heard, made it particularly hard to lock and release.

Not a trace of blood could be seen and every inch of the bath, basin, lavatory and shower unit gleaned brightly. The inquest at Westminster coroner’s court was told that not one scrap of relevant forensic evidence was found in the flat.

The naked and decomposed body of Mr Williams, 31, was found in August 2010. He had been on secondment from GCHQ to MI6. Later a 3D graphic showed how his body was found in the bag.

Detective Chief Inspector Jackie Sebire told the court: “In my opinion his face was very calm. He was unclothed and in a foetal position with his legs folded towards his chest and his arms slightly bent lying on his chest. There’s no injuries to his nails, nail beds or fingers.

“While the bag zips are double stitched there’s no signs of stress or tearing to them. Nor is there any sign of tearing to the netting in the bag.”

The officer said Mr Williams was extremely fit and there would have been clear signs of damage had he put up a struggle.

Forensic scientists are still working on unidentified components of DNA found on the bag in which MI6 spy Gareth Williams died, the inquest heard this afternoon.

DCI Sebire, said: "there is still work to be done."

Microscopic traces were found on the padlock and a toggle attached to the outside of the bag.

She said there was no evidence that the flat had been forensically cleaned and evidence destroyed before the police arrived eight days after Mr Willams was last seen live.

She added: "The heart of the case is whether Gareth locked himself in the bag or whether somebody locked him in.

"I have always been open minded but it has been my opinion from an early stage that a third party was involved in padlocking the bag and the bag being placed in the bath."

On the bottom of the bag beneath his body there was a set of two keys which fitted the Yale padlock. Although the oven door was open in the kitchen there were no signs of a disturbance in the flat.

In the living room a bright orange and yellow woman’s wig hung on a chair, and a lipstick and foundation stick were on a sofa close to a stocking cap for use under a wig.

In the spare bedroom there were 26 pairs of women’s shoes in Mr Williams’s size six to six and a half as well as make-up. Ms Sebire said there was £20,000 of female clothing and much of it had been unworn.

Earlier, the last known movements of Mr Williams were shown as he shopped in Knightsbridge. The court heard there was no evidence he was being followed. The case continues.