MI6 spy found dead in bag 'DID lock himself in holdall' say police as they claim codebreaker was responsible for his own death
Investigation finds Gareth Williams could have locked himself in bagCoroner claimed that someone else must have been involved with deathCodebreaker found dead in bathtub in central London flat in August 2010
11:00 GMT, 27 December 2012
Mystery: Codebreaker Gareth Williams was found dead in his London flat in August 2010
The MI6 codebreaker who was found dead inside a holdall probably locked himself inside the bag, according to police.
An inquest into the death of Gareth Williams found that he could have been the victim of foul play, as the coroner expressed doubts that he could have locked the bag himself.
However, Scotland Yard detectives investigating the case discovered that it is possible to lock the type of holdall he was found in from the inside, and now say it is likely that no one else was involved in Mr Williams' death.
The body of the codebreaker, who was on secondment to MI6 from GCHQ, was discovered in a bathtub in his flat in Pimlico, central London, in August 2010.
Coroner Fiona Wilcox ruled earlier this year that it was unlikely Mr Williams could have locked himself into the red North Face holdall which contained his body and whose keys were also locked inside the bag.
Experts testified that they had tried to lock themselves inside the bag more than 400 times, and said even famed escapologist Harry Houdini would have had difficulty doing so.
But just a few days after Dr Wilcox delivered her verdict, a retired sergeant revealed that the feat was in fact possible, casting doubt on the assertion that someone else must have been involved in Mr Williams' death.
Police refined the experiment to mirror the exact way the bag had been locked – and agreed that Mr Williams could have secured the holdall himself, according to the Daily Telegraph.
In addition, detectives do not believe there is any evidence of forced entry which could suggest that the codebreaker was murdered.
Locked: Mr Williams' body was found inside a red North Face holdall similar to this one
'They have been unable to find any trace of anyone who should not have been in the flat and every reason to believe that Gareth may have climbed into the bag himself and been unable to get out,' an inquiry source told the Telegraph.
Police are now apparently planning to inform the coroner of their belief that Mr Williams died alone.
Dr Wilcox initially dismissed the idea that the spy could have been the victim of 'auto-erotic activity' – but detectives say there is no other plausible explanation for his death.
The mysterious circumstances surrounding Mr Williams' death sparked speculation that he could have been assassinated by the security services.
His MI6 colleagues did not report him missing for a week, and failed to hand over key evidence from their office, which raised the possibility that they could have been involved in a cover-up.
Investigation: Police have denied that foul play was responsible for the codebreaker's death
However, others pointed to an apparent interest in bondage and cross-dressing as a more likely explanation for his death.
Mr Williams was once found by his landlord tied to his own bed wearing only underwear, while he apparently kept 20,000 worth of women's clothes in his flat.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police declined to confirm the detectives' latest findings, saying: 'This remains an active investigation and officers continue to explore a number of lines of inquiry.
'Officers retain an open mind in relation to the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Williams.'