Dead spy's family 'upset by private life claims'

The family of a murdered British spy were in a "state of shock" today as lurid claims emerged about his private life.

Scotland Yard detectives continued to investigate whether GCHQ codes expert Gareth Williams, 30, lived a secretive double life.



The mathematics genius, who was on secondment to MI6, was found dead in a sports holdall in the bath of his Government flat on Monday.



Investigators have begun picking through his private life amid claims he has been linked to a male escort and bondage equipment was found in his home.



Sources close to the investigation suggested these latest claims are not true, raising questions about where they came from.



Relative William Hughes, 62, a councillor on Anglesey, said there is no evidence the allegations are correct.



Mr Hughes, a cousin of Mr Williams's mother, Ellen, said: "I have spoken to Gareth's parents and they are not doing well at all.



"They are in a state of shock and struggling to come to terms with what has happened.



"They have seen what has been in the papers and they are very, very upset about these untruths. I don't see any evidence of it.



"It never crossed my mind that Gareth was that sort of person. He left home at a young age and what happened in his private life was his business.



"When you have these rumours in the papers, it is most distressing.



"It is heartbreaking that he has died so young and his family have enough on their plate without having to read these stories."



Mr Hughes added that it is possible the Government, or other agency, may be trying to discredit Mr Williams.



Police focused their investigations on Mr Williams's private life after his decomposing body was discovered when colleagues raised the alarm.



The mathematics prodigy was days from completing a one-year secondment to the headquarters of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, in Vauxhall, London.



He was due to return to a rented flat in Cheltenham where Government Communications Headquarters, GCHQ, is based.



It is understood Mr Williams also worked for the United States National Security Agency and made regular trips to Washington DC and Fort Meade, near Baltimore.



The mystery over his final hours deepened after a post-mortem examination failed to identify a cause of death.



Further tests will determine if the cycling fanatic was asphyxiated or poisoned, as well as if drugs or alcohol were present in his system.



A pathologist found Mr Williams was not stabbed or shot and there were no obvious signs of strangulation.



Police refused to categorise the death as a murder, despite the bizarre circumstances, as they insist he may have died innocently.



One line of inquiry is that he is the victim of a sex game that went wrong and questions remain over why he was not discovered sooner.



Police believe Mr Williams's body could have lain undiscovered for up to a fortnight and are examining his mobile phone and financial records.



They suspect Mr Williams might have known his killer as there was no sign of forced entry at his top-floor flat in smart Alderney Street, Pimlico.



Friends described him as an extremely bright, quiet and determined man who did not discuss his private life.



Childhood friend Dylan Parry, 34, said Mr Williams was academically gifted but socially naive and could be easily-led.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Parker says: 'I once had a taster use the phrase 'smells like the sex glands of a lemming'. Who in the world can relate to that?'
food + drinkRobert Parker's 100-point scale is a benchmark of achievement for wine-makers everywhere
News
i100
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing