Session 9. Friday Morning, April 27, 2012

SESSION 9. Friday Morning, April 27, 2012
9:34@rachyoungerskyMorning. Covering inquest into death of MI6 officer Gareth Williams. Expecting demo of whether possible he locked himself inside bag
9:34@rachyoungerskyCoroner calls William MacKay who says nature of his work to investigate unusual occurrences in confined spaces
WITNESS: William MacKay
9:34@rachyoungerskyMacKay says v flexible young man who carried out reconstruction managed to get in to bag without help or instruction at first attempt
9:34@rachyoungerskyinquest shown film of how man did so - mackay explains how poss to lock bag first then manually make space to allow person to enter
9:34@rachyoungerskyMacKay then explains how found it to be impossible when attempted to lock bag after getting in
9:34@rachyoungerskyMacKay says unless individual manages to get into locked bag at very first attempt, pen used to manipulate zip would damage it
9:35@skynewsgathererFirst witness is William MacKay, who was asked by police to try and reconstruct getting into a bag
9:36@skynewsgathererMr MacKay, who has military background, also asked to investigate how well someone could breathe in closed bag
9:36@skynewsgathererInquest now watching DVD of someone in a bag like the one Gareth Williams was found in
9:36@skynewsgathererIt shows fingers pulling zip closed from the inside
9:36@skynewsgathererNext clip shows the bag locked from the outside before anyone gets in and then the zip forced open with a pen
9:36@skynewsgathererThe man then gets in and tries to close the zip behind him
9:36@skynewsgathererThe 3rd experiment was to try and lock the zip whilst inside the bag - it couldn't be done
9:36@skynewsgathererExperts says that if someone had got in after forcing the zip open - the zip was damaged when it was closed
9:39@skynewsgathererExpert says he tried experiments on the bag more than a 100 times
9:43@rachyoungerskyMacKay says only way to train for this would be with assistant or taking knife into bag with you. Coroner points out £700 bag to cut
9:44@skynewsgathererExpert essentially saying that to lock the bag from the inside the person would have needed 3 hands
9:46@skynewsgathererExperts found that due to lack of oxygen after a few mins they had to rest, the lock then dropped and they had to start it all again
9:47@rachyoungerskyMacKay showing court picture of lock and zip to show how 3 Actions needed: hold zip together, hold lock, lock bar but only 2 hands
9:50@skynewsgathererOne cord attached to the zipper was also in usual position - which the expert says would have made locking the bag even harder
9:50@rachyoungerskyMacKay says when they tried both he+assistant lost dexterity in fingers, had to rest momentarily, meant starting locking process anew
9:53@rachyoungerskyMacKay says Williams prowess as rock climber would mean tremendous power developed in his fingers which would have aided his ability
9:56@skynewsgathererInquest hears at times experts got reasonably close to locking bag - but thinks without a lot of training it couldn't be done
9:57@skynewsgatherer'There are people around that can do amazing things,' expert tells inquest
9:58@rachyoungerskyMacKay refuses to rule out possibility that Williams could have locked himself in to bag as found at scene using this scenario
10:00@skynewsgathererExpert has refused to rule out the possibility that Gareth Williams locked himself in the bag
10:05@skynewsgathererExpert says that if someone wanted to get out of the locked bag, 'with adrenaline running', they would find a way
10:06@skynewsgatherer'There would be an option of saving yourself,' says expert
10:06@rachyoungerskyMacKay showing video illustrating how possible once locked in to open zip small amount to greatly increase flow of oxygen
10:08@rachyoungerskyMacKay: We found it difficult to pull much further than this - I would offer if adrenalin kicked in you would find way to do it
10:11@skynewsgathererExpert says someone of Gareth Williams size would have had no problem getting into the bag
10:12@rachyoungerskyMacKay shows still of best position to be in bag to get out, points out on side ideal. "This was not the position he was found in"
10:16@skynewsgathererExpert says he has lost sleep trying to work out why the zip cord was in unusual position
10:22@rachyoungerskyinquest shown still of experts elbow area with red patches - if enough attempts made "should be red area on skin"
10:27@skynewsgathererExpert tested whether he could breathe in the bag by getting in it in a swimming pool
10:32@skynewsgathererMr MacKay now answering questions from family lawyer. Expert confirms he never managed to lock himself in bag unaided
10:34@rachyoungerskyunder questioning from family lawyer MacKay clarifies neither he nor assistant ever managed to lock themselves in to bag
10:38@skynewsgathererMr MacKay saying that if someone wanted to survive they could have opened bag from the inside
10:47@rachyoungerskyMacKay says if you were an escapologist you would pull it (the bag) open, grab the key and everyone would be amazed
10:55@tomskynewsThe footage of the tests to see if it was possible for a person to lock themselves into a holdall coming up shortly on @skynews
10:57@tomskynewsConclusion of first "bag expert" is that is was very very difficult for someone to lock themselves into holdall but couldn't rule it out
11:08@skynewsgathererSecond bag expert now giving evidence. It's Peter Faulding, who is similar size to Gareth Williams
11:09@rachyoungerskynext bag expert Peter Faulding (apt name!) now describing how he climbed into a similar bag
WITNESS: Peter Faulding
11:10@skynewsgathererMr Faulding, placed a bag similar to the one found a flat, in a bath and tried to get in it
11:11@skynewsgathererDVD shows Mr Faulding lying on his back, on the bag, and trying to manoeuvre himself in
11:12@skynewsgathererDVD shows Mr Faulding struggling to get in, he touches bath, tiles and rests feet on the taps in process
11:13@skynewsgathererMr Faulding says he wants to make it clear that it would dangerous to attempt to 'try this at home'
11:15@rachyoungerskyPeter Faulding, expert whose name you couldnt make up, shows DVD contorting himself into bag. Tells press to warn public not to try it
11:17@rachyoungerskyyou can see footage inquest has been watching on sky news now as coroner has released it to media
11:18@skynewsgathererExpert says that being in a bath made the bag harder to get into. Once in, temperature rose fast
11:21@skynewsgathererMr Faulding says he can't say it's impossible to lock the bag from the inside but 'even Houdini would struggle with this one'
11:23@skynewsgathererWhen pushed Mr Faulding says it would have been impossible for Gareth to get into the bag, in the bath, unaided without leaving any marks
11:26@skynewsgathererMr Faulding says that one person could have easily lifted the bag with Gareth's body into the bath without leaving marks
11:27@skynewsgathererMr Faulding says that it would have been very, very easy to put Gareth into the bag if he was unconscious or dead
11:29@skynewsgathererMr Faulding says that if the key had just dropped from the padlock it would be unlikely to have ended up where it did
11:32@skynewsgathererExperiment on oxygen levels in the bag showed that amount of oxygen decreased rapidly after 5 mins
11:33@skynewsgathererOxygen level dropped to just 17%
11:34@skynewsgathererMr Faulding thinks that Gareth could have survived a maximum of 30 mins in the bag
11:35@skynewsgathererMr Faulding says it would be impossible to get into bag in scenario Gareth found in
11:36@skynewsgathererExpert: 'Why would you climb into bag in the bath?.... I believe he was placed in the bag by a 3rd party'
11:38@skynewsgathererExpert tells Gareth Williams inquest that he believes Gareth was placed in bag by 3rd party
11:40@skynewsgathererInquest adjourned while officers prepare 999 call tape for the court. Back at 2pm
END OF SESSION 9. Friday Morning, April 27, 2012

Link to source of April 27 coverage