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MI6 Spy Found Tied To Bed Years Before Death
MI6 spy Gareth Williams tied himself to his bed "to see if he could get free" years before his body was found in a padlocked bag, his inquest heard.
Mr Williams was working for GCHQ in Cheltenham when his landlord and landlady in the town discovered him with his wrists attached to the head board.
They concluded the act was "more likely to be sexual than escapology," the hearing was told.
In a written statement read to Westminster Coroner's Court, his landlady Jennifer Elliot described the startling scene that confronted her and her husband in the middle of the night three years before their tenant's death.
Ms Elliot, who rented out an annex to her home to Mr Williams, said: "We were in bed and we heard Gareth shouting for help. It was about 1.30am and during winter.
"We both got up, got the spare key and opened the door to the annex. I called 'are you ok?' Gareth replied 'can you help me?'
"We went upstairs and found him lying in his bed with both hands tied with material attached at the headboard."
The spy was dressed in boxer shorts, with the bedclothes pulled over his legs, she said.
"He was very embarrassed," she said.
"He said 'I just wanted to see if I could get myself free'."
Ms Elliot could not describe what material he had used to tie up his wrists, adding that her husband thought he had formed two loops and put his hands through them.
The couple thought the material looked taut enough to cut into the spy's skin, the court heard.
Ms Elliot's statement continued: "My husband said 'what the bloody hell are you doing?' and he said 'I just wanted to see if I could get free'.
"He told my husband there was a knife on the side and my husband cut him free.
"We said 'Gareth, we can't have you doing this'. He agreed and said it wouldn't happen again."
Mr Williams then offered to pay more rent but Ms Elliot declined, the inquest heard.
There was no repeat of the strange incident, Ms Elliot said, and she and her husband never spoke of it to anyone but each other.
"We obviously discussed it and thought it more likely to be sexual than escapology," she added.
But apart from this, Mr Williams's flat was always immaculate and his landlady "never saw anything of a sexual or fetish nature" there, the inquest was told.
Mr Williams's body was found locked in a hold-all in his flat in Pimlico, London, in August 2010 but 20 months on his death still remains a mystery.
MI6 spies are expected to give evidence at the inquest of GCHQ codebreaker Mr Williams later.
The witnesses will appear anonymously behind a screen and will be referred to only as Witness K, Witness F, Witness G and SIS F.
Between them the witnesses will be asked to explain Mr Williams' role, both at his main job at GCHQ, and on his secondment to the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) at Vauxhall Cross in London.