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.

News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?