Matthew Trickett
Matthew Trickett, 37 was found dead in a park near his home just days after being charged with carrying out surveillance and hostile reconnaissance on pro-democracy activists in the UK for the Hong Kong intelligence service
A Former Royal Marine accused of spying for Hong Kong has been found dead in 'unexplained' circumstances last night.

Matthew Trickett, 37 was found dead in a park near his home just days after being charged with carrying out surveillance and hostile reconnaissance on pro-democracy activists in the UK for the Hong Kong intelligence service.

The suspected spy, who worked as an immigration enforcement officer for the Home Office, due to appear at the Old Bailey on Friday charged with betraying his country.

In a statement, his family said: 'We're mourning the loss of a much-loved son, brother and family man.'

Speaking of the Royal Marine's death, a local resident told MailOnline: 'This has been extremely disturbing for residents.

'Police have been going around asking for doorbell cam in the hope of tracing his movements.

'The next thing we heard, this was an unexplained death and now we hear about the spying charges he was facing.'

Police said they are currently treating the death as unexplained.

But it can be revealed that prosecutors wanted to remand him in custody for his own safety, after a previous suicide attempt following his arrest.

Despite this, the Afghanistan veteran was released on bail last Monday.

In an extraordinary espionage case which is the first of its kind, Trickett and two other men, Chi Leung Wai, 38, who works at Heathrow Airport for UK Border Force and Chung Biu Yuen, 63, a trade official, are jointly accused of carrying out surveillance operations in the UK allegedly targeting dissidents of the regime.

It is the first time anyone has been charged with spying on British soil for the Hong Kong intelligence service.

The trio were charged last Monday under the new National Security Act brought in last year to target those working secretly for hostile states within the UK.

Born in Poole, Dorset, in 1987, Trickett enlisted into the Royal Marines aged 19 and served for seven years, rising to the position of 'detachment commander'.

He fought against the Taliban and Somali pirates in the Red Sea before leaving the military in 2013.

He set up his own security company in 2021, working as a bodyguard for engineers, foreign dignitaries and corporate organisations as well as wealthy families.

Trickett was then employed by the UK Border Force at Heathrow Airport before joining Home Office Immigration Enforcement on February 21 this year.

When he appeared in court last Monday (may 13), there were concerns for his health after he had attempted suicide two days earlier.

Kashif Malik, prosecuting, told Westminster Magistrates Court said: 'On Saturday morning he attempted to hurt himself, to commit suicide. The custody team intervened and he is now on a 24 hour watch.

'On two separate occasions he told custody sergeants, when he is released he will kill himself, he has nothing to live for. How realistic that is, we don't know but it was put before us that having already tried to harm himself while in prison, he should be remanded in custody for own safety.'

But Julian Hayes, defending, played down the suicide attempt, which he blamed on Trickett's medical condition.

He said: 'He suffers from hypogonadism, a hormone deficiency that requires testosterone, which he takes every other day.

'He wasn't getting that in custody and as result his mood crashed significantly and he did endeavour to self-harm. It was more cry for help than a genuine attempt.

Comment: Why wasn't he receiving his medication? More so considering his suicidal ideation and the potential impact that hormones have on mood. Also, notably, the suicide attempt apparently 'wasn't genuine'.

'He has been given some gel. It is not entirely satisfactory but has stabilised him. Remanding him in custody for his own welfare or for his on-going medication is somewhat stretching it.'

Mr Hayes told the court it was 'in the interests of his own welfare' to release Trickett on bail and suggested he could report daily to a police station.

He added: 'Candidly his mood was low but that was down to the fact he wasn't on his medication.'

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said his body had been found seven days later: 'At around 5.15pm on Sunday (19/5) officers attended Grenfell Park, Maidenhead, following a report from a member of the public.

'Officers attended the scene and found a man. Emergency treatment was commenced but sadly the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

'An investigation is ongoing into the death, which is currently being treated as unexplained.'

The force has made a mandatory referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), as is routine where there has been a death following police contact.

The IOPC have assessed that the matter should be investigated by Thames Valley Police's Professional Standards Department.