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  1. ITV Report

Amesbury victim looks 'like a skeleton' after being exposed to novichok, says brother

Charles Rowley is in hospital after being exposed to nerve agent novichok. Credit: Facebook

Amesbury victim Charles Rowley "looked like a skeleton" in hospital, according to his brother, who told ITV News he "is getting better", after being exposed to nerve agent novichok.

Speaking exclusively to ITV News, Matthew Rowley said he "barely recognised" his brother when he went to visit him at Salisbury District Hospital.

On Wednesday Lorna Wilkinson, Director of Nursing at the hospital, revealed that Mr Rowley was no longer in a critical condition, although he remains seriously ill and this was later confirmed by brother Matthew.

He said: "He is awake, he is talking and making sense but he's like a skeleton at the moment. He is eating now, solid foods, as where he was on liquids for nine days, hence him losing weight."

"He couldn't really keep his head off the pillow, but we managed to have a bit of a laugh together."

Mr Rowley, 45, and his partner Dawn Sturgess, 44, both fell ill in Amesbury, Wiltshire, on June 30 after it is believed they handled a vessel containing the deadly nerve agent.

Charles Rowley and partner Dawn Sturgess were exposed to nerve-agent novichok. Credit: Facebook

Charlie is aware partner Dawn Sturgess has died but Matthew didn't want to upset his brother by talking about it.

Upon visiting Charles in hospital, Matthew said he wiggled his brother's "toes a bit to see if he was alive" and described the experience of seeing his brother in that position as "upsetting".

"He had a lot of tubes coming out of him, a hell of a lot and he was connected to another set of monitors this side and he's still in intensive care, the nurse said he will be there for sometime.

An investigator in a chemical suit works behind screens erected in Rollestone Street, Salisbury, where Dawn Sturgess lived. Credit: PA

"It was upsetting, just seeing him like that," he said.

Matthew said he had "never seen so machines" when visiting his brother in hospital and added that their brief meeting was cut short when Charles "started to tire out".

The hospital ward where Charles is being treated is being guarded by police, with everyone entering having to wear protective clothing.