Death of former Royal Marine accused of spying for Hong Kong ‘not suspicious', police say

24 May 2024, 19:18

The death of Matthew Trickett is not being treated as suspicious, police have said.
The death of Matthew Trickett is not being treated as suspicious, police have said. Picture: Social media/Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

The death of an ex-Royal Marine accused of spying for the Hong Kong intelligence service is not being treated as suspicious, police have said.

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Matthew Trickett, 37, who was also accused of foreign interference, was reported to have died in 'unexplained' circumstances on Sunday.

Thames Valley Police (TVP) said Mr Trickett was found dead in Grenfell Park, Maidenhead, at around 5.15pm on Sunday after a report from a member of the public.

He had appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court with two other people last week.

Following a Home Office post-mortem, the force confirmed on Friday that the death is not being treated as suspicious.

The force said in a statement: “On Wednesday (22/5) a Home Office post-mortem was completed on behalf of His Majesty’s Coroner. As a result of this and further enquiries conducted by detectives, we can confirm the death is not being treated as suspicious.”

Mr Trickett’s family is being supported by specialist officers.

The ex-Royal Marine appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court alongside co-defendants Chi (Peter) Leung Wai and Chung Biu Yuen on May 13.

The charges alleged that between December 20, 2023 and May 2, 2024 Yuen, Wai and Trickett agreed to undertake information gathering, surveillance and acts of deception that were likely to materially assist a foreign intelligence service.

Read more: Pictured: Heathrow Border Force official and ex-Royal Marine accused of spying for Hong Kong

Read more: Chinese ambassador summoned to Foreign Office after three men charged with 'spying for Hong Kong'

Mr Trickett appeared in court last week.
Mr Trickett appeared in court last week. Picture: Alamy

Prosecution had asked for Mr Trickett to be remanded in custody for his own welfare ahead of his next hearing at the Old Bailey.

However, he was granted bail and on May 19 he was found dead in Grenfell Park.

At a hearing at the Old Bailey on Friday, prosecutor Alistair Richardson said the Crown Prosecution had notified the court that the case against Mr Trickett would be formally "discontinued".

He said: "As has widely been reported, Matthew Trickett died on May 19 this year. The cause of his death is currently given as unexplained. His death has been confirmed by the coroner."

He also asked for the formal revocation of Mr Trickett's electronic tag.

Thames Valley Police (TVP) referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) because Mr Trickett's bail condition required him to regularly register at a police station.

The IOPC has assessed that referral and decided the matter should be investigated by TVP's professional standards department.

Mr Trickett was formerly employed by the UK Border Force at Heathrow Airport, before joining Home Office Immigration Enforcement on February 21 2024.

He was also the director of MTR Consultancy, a security firm formed in April 2021.

Following his death, the family of Mr Trickett told The Times: “We're mourning the loss of a much-loved son, brother and family man."

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