Matthew Trickett: Man charged with spying for Hong Kong has died – BBC News

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Image caption, Matthew Trickett was a Home Office immigration officer who had also served as a Royal Marine for six years

A former Royal Marine charged with assisting the Hong Kong intelligence service has been found dead, police have said.

Matthew Trickett, 37, a Home Office immigration officer, appeared in court charged under the National Security Act last week.

He was found by a member of the public in a park in Maidenhead, Berkshire, on Sunday, Thames Valley Police said.

His death is being treated as unexplained and a post-mortem examination will be carried out in due course, the force added.

Officers attended Grenfell Park in Maidenhead at about 17:15 BST on Sunday, where Mr Trickett was found.

He was given emergency treatment but was pronounced dead at the scene.

A black forensics tent could be seen inside a cordoned off area in the centre of the park on Tuesday evening. Police officers were also stationed around the park.

Detectives are asking for anyone who was in the park on Sunday afternoon to come forward if they have any information.

Image caption, A police cordon was in place at the site on Tuesday evening

In a statement, Mr Trickett’s family said they were “mourning the loss of a much-loved son, brother, and family member”.

“We would be grateful if the press would respect our privacy at this difficult time and refrain from intruding on our grief,” they added.

His solicitor, Julian Hayes, said: “We are naturally shocked at this news and supporting his family as best as we can.”

Mr Trickett was a Home Office immigration officer, who had previously served as a Royal Marine for six years. He was also the director of a security firm called MTR Consultancy.

Last week, he was charged along with Chi Leung (Peter) Wai, 38, and Chung Biu Yuen, 63, under the National Security Act with assisting the Hong Kong intelligence service and foreign interference.

Between 20 December 2023 and 2 May, they are accused of agreeing to undertake information gathering, surveillance and acts of deception that were likely to materially assist a foreign intelligence service.

It is also alleged they forced entry into a UK residence on 1 May.

The three accused men spoke only to confirm their identities during their court appearance.

They had not yet entered pleas and were granted bail until Friday, when they are due to appear at the Old Bailey.

At last week’s hearing, prosecutor Kashif Malik asked that Mr Trickett be kept in custody for his own welfare as he said the defendant had attempted to take his own life after being charged, but that request was refused and he was granted bail.

Thames Valley Police said: “Mr Trickett was on court bail, awaiting court proceedings, which required him to register at a police station regularly.

“Therefore, because Thames Valley Police had prior contact with Mr Trickett, a mandatory referral was made to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), as is normal in such circumstances where there has been a death following police contact.

“The IOPC have assessed that referral and decided that the matter should be investigated by Thames Valley Police‚Äôs Professional Standards Department.”

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