NEWS
24/05/2012 06:01 BST | Updated 24/05/2012 10:36 BST

Gareth Williams Death: Pathologist Suggests He Could Have Locked Himself In Bag

A pathologist who worked on the death of Gareth Williams has suggested the spy could have locked himself in the bag after a journalist and army veteran demonstrated the feat was possible.

Dr Richard Shepherd said on Thursday that the demonstration "brings once again to the fore the possibility that this was a solitary act by Gareth."

The pathologist, who carried out a post mortem on Williams, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the death could fit "neartly" with other deaths from sexual asphyxiation.

"From my point of view, as I look across the deaths associated with sexual asphyxiation, this is one that fits quite neatly into that product, bizarre though it is.

“If this evidence is shown to be correct, it needs to have further consideration.”

Screengrab from a video reconstruction showing a person trying to close the zip and padlock themselves in a sports holdall unaided

One expert in confined space told the inquest into Williams' death that "even Houdini" would have struggled to lock himself in to the red holdall his body was found in.

Peter Faulding said he had tried to lock himself in the holdall 300 times, adding: "My personal belief is that it could not be done."

However retired sergeant Jim Fetherstonhaugh and 23-year-old journalist Claire Hayhurst showed it was possible to lock oneself into a holdall.

Faulding, however, told the BBC: "A young girl zipping a bag doesn’t discredit this inquiry whatsoever. We were fully aware of other methods of being able to lock the bag but she or nobody could achieve it without leaving her DNA or trace on the bath and that’s the key to this."

Screengrab from a video reconstruction showing a yoga specialist trying to lock himself in a sports holdall unaided

Following Williams' inquest at the beginning of May, a senior Met officer involved in the investigation said his death was "most suspicious" and it is "highly likely a third party was involved."

DCI Jackie Sebire, said she had "always been satisfied that a third party may have been involved in his death… The investigation will now refocus and actively pursue all the lines of inquiry".

Williams was found naked, curled up in a padlocked holdall in the bath of his flat in Pimlico, central London.

The police inquiry into his death continues.

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