South West Business : GCHQ officer Gareth Williams probably died alone says new Met Police report

Thursday, November 14, 2013

GCHQ officer Gareth Williams probably died alone says new Met Police report

by Aled Thomas, reporter, Gloucestershire Echo | November 14, 2013

Gareth Williams, the GCHQ officer who was found dead in a flat in London ‘probably died alone’ according to a new investigation by the Metropolitan Police.

Dr Williams was coming to the end of a three-year secondment to MI6 in London in August 2010, when he was reported missing by GCHQ, just days before he was due to return to Cheltenham.

Met Police officers went to his flat in Alderney Street, Pimlico, and found his body in an externally padlocked hold-all in the bath.

A post-mortem found the cause of death inconclusive and at the inquest, the coroner said that it was likely someone else was present at Dr Williams’ death.

Now a new report by the police says that may not be the case.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt, who ran the specialist crime and operations unit’s investigation, said: “Many questions remain unanswered as to the circumstances of Gareth’s untimely death. “What is clear is that this has been a tragedy for his family, friends and those who knew him.

“I understand the desire of Gareth’s family to have answers to some fundamental questions as to the circumstances of his death. For three years now we have done all we can to find those answers.”

DAC Hewitt said looking at the evidence again has led his team to a new conclusion: “After the inquest we reviewed all the evidence gathered up to that point and carried out additional enquiries.

“Learning from the inquest we set up our investigation in a different way, and this has led to greater clarity on some aspects of the case.

“Now at the end of our investigation, based on the evidence, or where we have been unable to find positive evidence, we believe that it is a more probable conclusion that there was no other person present when Gareth died.”

Dr Williams, who rented a flat in Bouncers Lane for many years and was a keen cyclist and member of Cheltenham and County Cycle Club was a brilliant mathematician originally from North Wales.

A statement from his family said they believed the coroner’s view “accurately reflects the circumstances of Gareth’s death.

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

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