The former landlady of murdered MI6 spook Gareth Williams yesterday paid tribute to the ”mild-mannered” intelligent cycling fanatic who ”wouldn’t hurt a fly”.
Tragic Gareth rented a flat in Cheltenham, Glos., from retired office worker Jenny Elliott, 71, from the late 90’s to just over a year ago when he moved to London.
Gareth, who had worked at GCHQ, phoned Jenny in April to ask for his old room back after getting a transfer back to the town.
He asked if he could move back into the self-contained annex on September 3.
But Jenny and husband Brian became concerned on Monday night when a Foreign Office official visited their £500,000 detached family home in Prestbury, Cheltenham, to ask if they had seen him as they couldn’t track him down.
Jenny said: ”It’s a real tragedy what’s happened. Gareth was a really nice guy who was polite and mild-mannered and wouldn’t hurt a fly.
”He was very quiet and never an trouble at all. When someone has lived with you for ten years you get to know them really well and Gareth almost became a part of the family.
”Gareth was a very likeable person who didn’t really have any friends as such. He was a cycling fanatic and was forever off on some bike ride or another but never really had friends round.
”He was an extremely intelligent person but would not talk about his job as it was a secret, on account of working for GCHQ. All he told me was it was something to do with codes.
”I know he had a doctorate in Maths which he got from Cambridge University, so obviously he was a very clever guy.
”You wouldn’t really hear a peep from him. Occasionally you could hear tapes whirring from his flat, which must have been audio cassettes he used for work, but he never told me what they were.
”It’s all very sad. We became a little concerned when the people from the foreign office came round on Monday but I could not imagine Gareth ever making enemies who would want to kill him.”