Telegraph : Woman successfully locks herself in spy holdall

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Woman successfully locks herself in spy holdall

A video demonstrating a technique that may have been used by spy Gareth Williams to lock himself into a holdall has been released.

May 9, 2012

Gareth Williams, the spy found dead in a holdall, could have locked himself inside the bag in which he died, an Army veteran has revealed.

The inquest into the MI6 agent's death heard how a number of experts unsuccessfully tried to lock themselves inside a bag up to 300 times.

But Jim Fetherstonhaugh, 49 - a sergeant in the Royal Artillery for 22 years - discovered a simple method by which a holdall can be zipped up and locked from the inside without assistance.

The technique is the reverse of a well-known trick used by airport thieves to steal from locked bags, as long as they are flexible and the sides can be pinched together.

Reporter Claire Hayhurst from South West News Service applied Mr Fetherstonhaugh's technique and was able to lock herself into an identical North Face bag to the one Mr Williams was found in without assistance.

Ms Hayhurst, who is 4ins shorter than the spy, easily fitted inside the bag in the foetal position before partially closing it.

She drew her legs up to her body and was able to draw the two zip pulls together while leaving a gap for her hands to protrude through and close the padlock.

She then tensed her body and the zip simply sealed itself leaving her successfully shut inside the bag holding the key to the padlock.

But crucially, the procedure is said to be much easier in a bath where the occupant of the bag can push against the sides for assistance.

Mr Fetherstonhaugh claims that, Mr Williams' taller height would not have made much difference.

He said: "The man on TV tried it 300 times and I was amazed he couldn't do it.

"I've told my friends and showed them and their jaws drop - it is so obvious, maybe people are thinking too much into it.

Mr Fetherstonhaugh contacted the Met Police via the force's 101 number and he was provided with a serial number but they have yet to respond to him.

A spokesman for the force refused to comment.

Warning: members of the public are warned not to imitate the actions in this video