Death of ex-Royal Marine accused of spying for Hong Kong ‘not suspicious’

Matthew Trickett (Supplied)
Matthew Trickett (Supplied)

The death of a former Royal Marine accused of assisting the Hong Kong intelligence service is not being treated as suspicious, police said.

Matthew Trickett, 37, of Maidenhead, Berkshire, was also accused of foreign interference and had appeared alongside Chi Leung (Peter) Wai, 38, and Chung Biu Yuen, 63, at Westminster Magistrates’ Court last week.

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

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

His family have been informed and they are being supported by officers.

At a hearing at the Old Bailey on Friday, prosecutor Alistair Richardson said the Crown Prosecution had notified the court that the case against 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 Trickett’s electronic tag.

In a statement, his family said earlier this week: “We’re mourning the loss of a much-loved son, brother and family man.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

They asked if their privacy could be respected “at this difficult time”.

Julian Hayes, senior partner at Berris Law and solicitor to Matthew Trickett, said: “It has sadly been confirmed by Thames Valley Police, that the body found in Grenfell Park, Maidenhead on Sunday, was that of our client Matthew Trickett.

“We are naturally shocked at this news and supporting his family as best we can. The death is currently being treated as unexplained by the police and further investigations are still ongoing.

”Following a mandatory referral the Independent Office for Police Conduct, due to the prior contact with police, the matter has now been passed on to Thames Valley Police’s Professional Standards Department. It would therefore not be appropriate for us or the family to comment any further at this stage.

“We ask that the media please respect the family’s wishes of privacy at this difficult time and refrain from speculating ahead of any findings.”

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.

It is also alleged that on May 1 2024 they forced entry into a UK residential address, being reckless as to whether the prohibited conduct, or course of conduct of which it forms part, would have an interference effect.

They had all been bailed and were next due to appear at the Old Bailey on Friday.

Prosecutor Kashif Malik said during last week’s hearing that Trickett had attempted suicide after being charged, and had asked for the defendant to be remanded in custody for his own welfare.

Matthew Trickett (Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Wire)
Matthew Trickett (Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Wire)

TVP referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), because 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.

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.