Gareth Williams

Gareth Williams

I kid you not. One story that has been making the rounds recently is that of a rather unfortunate fellow called Gareth Williams who had also chosen an equally unfortunate career as an MI6 spy.

This career was to spell the death knell to his life. No-one is quite certain of the circumstances surrounding his death, but the reported cover-up ‘facts’ go a little something like this:

A coroner claimed it was likely Mr Williams, 31, from Anglesey, had been unlawfully killed in August 2010.

However the police, being the wonders that they are had a very different version of events. They claimed that an evidence review showed that “it was more probable” no other person was present when he died in his London flat. They said he committed suicide.

Mr Williams’s body was found naked at his flat in Pimlico on 23 August 2010 after colleagues raised concerns for his welfare.
He had been on a secondment with MI6 from his job as a communications officer at the GCHQ “listening post” in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
Williams was found padlocked in a zipped up bag inside a bath at his London home. Apparently, he had managed to squeeze himself into the bag and then padlock it from the outside. Anybody who believes it is possible to do this without another person present in the room, is invited to attempt it and record the results.

It had taken a week for MI6 to investigate the code-breaker’s disappearance, and a post-mortem examination carried out by a Home Office pathologist failed to determine the cause of death.

Crucially, none of his DNA was found on the lock attached to the bag and his palm prints were not found on the rim of the bath.
Coroner Fiona Wilcox concluded that “most of the fundamental questions in relation to how Gareth died remain unanswered”.

She added that he was, “on the balance of probabilities”, unlawfully killed. But undeterred by the facts, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt claimed that it was “theoretically possible” Mr Williams could have padlocked the bag from the inside.

But he said there was no evidence that the MI6 officer had intended to take his own life or that his death was connected to his work.

He also claimed that it was “beyond possibility” that he had been misled. I agree. I’d say that it is more probable that he is the one who is attempting to mislead. But I am no police officer, just an independent journalist, so what do I know?

In a tragically comical statement, Hewitt claimed: “I do not believe that I have had the wool pulled over my eyes. I believe that what we are dealing with is a tragic unexplained death.”

Hewitt also denied that there was no evidence that Mr Williams’ flat had been forensically cleaned, adding it was a “fallacy” that it had been deep-cleaned in such a way that only certain DNA was left in the premises.

He also took aim at the coroner, claiming that her conclusion was based on very little evidence. Oh the irony.

Hewitt was reported as saying: “However, she also recognised that there has been endless speculation but little real evidence and it was her view [that] ‘it is unlikely that his death will ever be satisfactorily explained.

“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.”

But he hastily added: “But the reality is that for both hypotheses, there exist evidential contradictions and gaps in our understanding.”

Mr William’s family said that they stood by the coroner’s findings but were let down by the lack of answers surrounding the case.

In a public statement made to reporters, they said: “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 consider that on the basis of the facts at present known, the coroner’s verdict accurately reflects the circumstances of Gareth’s death.”

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