Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Detectives investigating Novichok poisoning of Amesbury couple believe they have found source

Counter-terrorism detectives investigating how two people became contaminated by the nerve agent Novichok believe they have found the source of the deadly substance.

Dawn Sturgess - who was 44 and from Durrington - died in hospital on Sunday evening having been exposed to the nerve agent. Detectives launched a murder inquiry following her death.

A post-mortem will take place on Tuesday 17th July.

Her partner, 45-year-old Charlie Rowley, was also taken to hospital critically ill but has since regained consciousness. Charlie remains in a serious, but stable condition.

On Wednesday 11th July, a small bottle was recovered during searches of Charlie Rowley’s house in Amesbury. It was taken to the Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down, Wiltshire, for tests.

Scientists have now confirmed that the substance in the bottle is Novichok. Further scientific tests will be carried out to establish whether it is from the same batch that contaminated Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March.

Inquiries are now under way to find out where the bottle came from and how it came to be in Charlie’s house.

This is clearly a significant and positive development. However, we cannot guarantee that there isn’t any more of the substance left and cordons will remain in place for some considerable time. This is to allow thorough searches to continue as a precautionary measure for public safety and to assist the investigation team. I also appreciate there is a lot of interest in this; however, we are not in a position to disclose any further details regarding the bottle at this stage.

– Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, Head of UK Counter Terrorism Policing

Police advice remains “if you didn’t drop it, then don’t pick it up”.

A dedicated helpline - 0800 092 0410 – has been set up for anyone with health concerns in relation to this incident.