Daily Post : Murdered MI6 spy Gareth Williams was from Anglesey

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Murdered MI6 spy Gareth Williams was from Anglesey

by Eryl Crump, Daily Post | August 26, 2010

AN MI6 worker, whose body was found in a holdall at his central London flat, was born and raised on Anglesey.

Gareth Williams, 30, was discovered in the bath of the property in Pimlico, a short distance from the Secret Intelligence Service's headquarters.

Scotland Yard detectives immediately launched a murder investigation.

His parents, Ian and Ellen, who live in Valley near Holyhead, returned from holiday on Tuesday and were taken by police from Manchester Airport to London to identify their son’s body. His younger sister Ceri, who lives in the Wrexham area, is believed to have joined them.

They were still in London last night and other family members were comforting Mr Williams’ elderly grandparents.

Mr Williams’ uncle, Anglesey councillor William Hughes of Trefor near Bodedern, said he had a phone call on Tuesday morning to say the body had been found.

He said: “It was an enormous shock. I have been to see his grandparents and they cannot believe what has happened. We are all devastated.”

A former pupil at Ysgol Morswyn, Holyhead and Ysgol Uwchradd Bodedern, Mr Williams later studied Maths at Cambridge University.

“He was very, very talented but very quiet with it and didn’t mix a lot. He was very fond of cycling and always had his bike with him when he visited the island,” he said.

A former schoolfriend at Ysgol Uwchradd Bodedern said: “He was a really decent honest person, he was such a nice lad, quiet and hard working.

“You knew he was going places. He stood out because at every level at school he was so far ahead of everyone else in the class.”

Last night it emerged Mr Williams’ body may have been undiscovered for up to a fortnight before his colleagues raised the alarm.

Police broke down the door after attempts by the Foreign Office to locate him failed.

Mr Williams, who was employed as a communications officer at the GCHQ “listening post” in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, was on secondment to the MI6 Secret Intelligence Service.

He was due to return to Cheltenham next week after working in London for about a year.

Mr Hughes added: “We knew he worked for GCHQ.. He would never talk about his work and it felt rude to ask really.”

His Cheltenham landlady Jenny Elliott said he was preparing to return on September 3.

She described him as “a lovely guy, very friendly, very well-mannered”. She added: “He was often away. He went to America to work a lot and often combined it with holiday because he hated flying.”

Mr Williams’s London neighbours described him as “extremely friendly, athletic, with a strong Welsh accent.

A post-mortem examination carried out by a Home Office pathologist last night found he had not been stabbed as earlier thought. Further tests, including toxicological analysis of his blood for evidence of drugs and alcohol, will now take place.