Stretford , Urmston , Trafford Photographer

MI6 Worker Seen Eight Days Before Body Found

The last confirmed sighting of MI6 worker Gareth Williams was on August 15 – eight days before his body was discovered in London, police have said.

The remains of the 30-year-old mathematics prodigy were found stuffed into a holdall in the bath of his Pimlico flat on Monday.

Earlier this week, detectives said it appeared Mr Williams had been dead for about two weeks.

Scotland Yard have now confirmed the MI6 code-breaker was last seen alive on Sunday, August 15.

The revelation came amid news Mr Williams’ family was “furious and distraught” at tabloid speculation about his private life.

Lurid allegations linking him to a male escort and claims bondage equipment was found at his home have appeared in some newspapers.

Sky’s home affairs correspondent Mark White said: “We have heard from sources that Williams had a complicated private life.

“He was a very private person and the family are very upset at some of the newspaper reports.”

In a statement, Mr Williams’ relatives paid tribute to a “generous, loving son, brother and friend”.

“He was a great athlete, and loved cycling and music,” the statement read.

“His loss has devastated us and we would ask that anyone with information to come forward and assist the police inquiry.”

The family believe rumours about his sexuality could be a smear campaign, possibly engineered by the Government.

But relative William Hughes earlier said allegations about Mr Williams leading a secretive double life are without foundation and have left the family in a “state of shock”.

The 62-year-old from Anglesey said: “(Gareth’s parents) 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.

“His family have enough on their plate without having to read these stories.”

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

A post-mortem proved inconclusive but found he had not been shot or stabbed and there were reportedly no obvious signs of strangulation.

Further tests will be carried out to establish how he died as well as if drugs or alcohol were present in his system.

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

Mr Williams was days from completing a one-year secondment to the headquarters of MI6 from his job at national “listening post” GCHQ in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

Police believe Mr Williams was on annual leave at the time of his death.

His mobile phone and financial records are being examined as well as CCTV cameras around his top-floor flat in Alderney Street, Pimlico.

Investigators suspect Mr Williams might have known his killer as there was no sign of forced entry at his home.

Officers have conducted a fingertip search of the Government flat amid fears that top-secret work material could have gone missing.

Mr Williams’ parents Ian and Ellen travelled to London with his sister Ceri on Thursday from their home in Anglesey to speak to police and formally identify his body.

Further details of Mr Williams continued to emerge as friends described him as an extremely bright, quiet and determined man.

Fellow cyclists, including members of clubs in Cheltenham and Holyhead, paid tribute to Mr Williams for his skills after he clocked up a series of records.

One said: “He was a maths genius. People sometimes thought he was dense because he spoke rather slowly and sometimes seemed distracted. How wrong can you get?”

Keith Thompson, of Holyhead Cycling Club, said he had known Mr Williams since he joined the club at the age of 17.

He said: “I never spoke to him about his job or his private life. Nobody did with Gareth. It was his cycling that we knew about.”

Mr Williams joined Cambridge University’s St Catharine’s College to undertake a postgraduate certificate in mathematics in 2000 but dropped out a year later.

Sources close to the inquiry say it is not clear how he died and have played down speculation the death was linked to his secretive line of work.