Mirror : Spy-in-a-bag Gareth Wyn Williams 'probably died alone in an accident'

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Spy-in-a-bag Gareth Wyn Williams 'probably died alone in an accident'

Martin Hewitt, the Met's senior officer investigating the death, said police believe the MI6 codebreaker was not killed

November 13, 2013

The mysterious death of MI6 spy Gareth Wyn Williams was probably an accident, police have said.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt revealed that his team disagree with the conclusion of a coroner last year that the codebreaker was more likely to have been murdered.

He said: "With the conclusion of the investigation, the Metropolitan Police's position is that, on balance, it is a more probable conclusion that there was no other person present when Gareth died.

"But the reality is that for both hypotheses, there exist evidential contradictions and gaps in our understanding."

The senior officer said the 31-year-old's death was "most probably" an accident, but admitted: "No evidence has been identified to establish the full circumstances of Gareth's death beyond all reasonable doubt."

Mr Williams, a fitness enthusiast originally from Anglesey, was found in the bag in the bath at his flat in Pimlico, central London, on August 23, 2010.

Pathologists said he would have suffocated within three minutes if he was alive when he got inside the 32-inch by 19-inch holdall.

None of his DNA was found on the lock on the bag and his palm prints were not found on the rim of the bath.

However, Mr Hewitt said there was no evidence that the flat had been "deep-cleaned" to remove forensic traces and nothing to suggest a struggle or a break-in.

A battery of post-mortem tests failed to determine how he died and police originally found it would have been impossible for him to have locked himself inside.

The mathematics genius worked as a cipher and codes expert for GCHQ, the Government listening station, but had been on secondment to the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6).

The unusual circumstances surrounding Mr Wyn Williams’ death sparked a painstaking investigation, worldwide media frenzy and several outlandish conspiracy theories.

In a statement, Mr Williams' family said they were "naturally disappointed" by the conclusions of the Met's investigation.

"We are naturally disappointed that it is still not possible to state with certainty how Gareth died and the fact that the circumstances of his death are still unknown adds to our grief.

"We note that the investigation has been conducted with further interviews upon some of the witnesses who gave evidence at the inquest and that the investigation team were at last able to interview directly members of GCHQ and SIS.

"We consider that on the basis of the facts at present known the Coroner's verdict accurately reflects the circumstances of Gareth's death.

"We still however remain very disappointed over the failure of his employers at MI6 to take even the most basic enquiries concerning Gareth's welfare when he failed to attend for work on the 16th August, 2010.

"We believe that if proper steps had been taken in the same manner as any reasonable employer would have undertaken further information relating to the cause of his death might have become apparent and not have been lost due to the length of time before Gareth's body was found.

"This lack of concern for Gareth's wellbeing remains an overriding feature of our thoughts following the death of a dear son and brother.

"We do not propose to make any further comment now concerning Gareth's death either personally nor through our legal representatives."