MI6 spy inquest: Expert 'convinced' agent was dead before put in bag

Video footage of Peter Faulding was shown at the inquest

Related Stories

As an inquest into the death of MI6 officer Gareth Williams finds "on the balance of probabilities" he was unlawfully killed, Peter Faulding, an expert on confined spaces - and who gave evidence at the inquest - says he is convinced Mr Williams was dead before he was put inside the bag.

During seven days of inquest, the question of whether the 31-year-old codebreaker could have padlocked himself in a bag in a bath was central - and the footage of Peter Faulding struggling to do just that was circulated world-wide.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Faulding said he had tried and failed 300 times. "Even Harry Houdini wouldn't have managed it," he said.

Both Mr Faulding - who is 5ft 6in (1.7m) tall and weighs 70kg (11st) - and the dead MI6 officer were of "similar" build.

He says getting into the bag was not a problem - the critical issue is the way in which the bag had been padlocked.

"Gareth could have got into the bag: I put my head in first, followed by the shoulders and then the leg. You can get into the bag and you can zip the bag up. That's not a problem," he said.

Graphic showing sizes of Gareth Williams and bag where his body was found

"The problem is when it is in the bath, putting the padlock on and actually securing the bag from the inside.

"Gareth was found in a very peaceful position, so there was no struggle" he added.

Mr Faulding believes that the MI6 officer would have to have been dead before his body was put into the bag.

"You can't access the lock from the inside without damaging the bag. So it cannot be padlocked from the inside. And the lock was left in a strange position."

Absence of any traces of DNA comfirms Mr Faulding's belief that Mr Williams was dead before he was put inside the bag.

"There would have been prints. There would have been DNA left on the bath as Gareth lowered himself inside the bag. But there was no DNA, no fingerprints, nothing actually at the scene.

"The door was closed and the key to the bag was actually under Gareth's right buttock. The heating was turned on fully in August.

"My belief is that the bag was placed in the bath with Gareth dead already.

"I believe there was definitely a third party involved or third parties."

More on This Story

Related Stories

More UK stories


Features & Analysis

  • SyedTanks instead of toys

    Lyse Doucet on the plight of children in Syria and Gaza

  • Silhouette of manSuper-shy

    Why do Germany's super-rich so often keep their heads down?

  • Children playing in Seoul fountainDay in pictures

    The best news photos from around the world in the past 24 hours

  • Gin drinkerMother's ruin

    The time when gin was full of sulphuric acid and turpentine

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • EscaladeBling's the thing

    The ostentatious Cadillac Escalade cruises into 2015 with fuel-gulping gusto


  • The smartphones of shoppers being tracked in a storeClick Watch

    How free wi-fi can enable businesses to track our movements and learn more about us

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.