Days after a Met Police report concluding that the death of MI6 spy Gareth Williams was “probably an accident”, police and the intelligence community came together for the launch of a new charity, to raise awareness of people who fall over in the bath into an open holdall and manage to close the holdall from the inside and then get locked in and die.
“Over 70,000 people each year die as a direct result of standing in a bath, accidentally falling into a holdall inside that bath, and not being able to avoid padlocking themselves inside,” said DI Maurice Shaw, at the launch of the Gareth Williams Trust. “It’s the third-biggest killer in the UK behind cancer and heart disease, yet the stigma around it means you almost never hear about it. But every death like this is a tragic accident. An accident.”
“Sometimes people can be ignorant,” said an anonymous MI6 agent, presenting a cheque for the £60,000 proceeds from the MI6 fun run in aid of holdall-related deaths. “They use words like ‘unlikely’, ‘weird-looking’, ‘suspicious’, and ‘unlawful killing’. We want them to stop saying that. This could happen to any one of you. Let me stress that. It could happen to any one of you.”
Members of the public are relieved this turned out to be a completely unsinister occurrence. “It’s always sad when a man manages to padlock himself inside a bag while leaving no DNA on the outside of the holdall or on the padlock, and no one from a top-level security agency investigates his disappearance for a whole seven days,” said Fintan Crerand, 28, from Balham. “I think that’s how my uncle died, now I think about it. But we just have to accept these things happen. It’s hardly even news, really. Did you hear about Dimbleby’s tattoo?! Hilarious.”