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  1. ITV Report

Parents of Novichok victim Dawn Sturgess question why ex-spy was housed in city

Dawn Sturgess died after being exposed to nerve agent Novichok Photo: Metropolitan Police/PA

The parents of the woman who died in the Wiltshire Novichok poisonings have said they have concerns about why former spy Sergei Skripal was settled in Salisbury.

Stan and Caroline Sturgess, whose daughter Dawn died in the months after the nerve agent attack on Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia, spoke of unanswered questions about the case and said they were seeking “justice”.

The Russian state is alleged to have poisoned Mr Skripal with Novichok hidden in a perfume bottle on March 4 last year in Salisbury, with Charlie Rowley and Ms Sturgess falling ill months later in nearby Amesbury after coming into contact with the same nerve agent.

Police conduct searches of Queen Elizabeth Gardens, Salisbury, after the attack Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

Mr Sturgess, a retired bricklayer, told The Guardian: “I want justice from our own Government. What are they hiding? I don’t think they have given us all the facts.

“If anyone, I blame the Government for putting Skripal in Salisbury.

“If they’d targeted Dawn specifically, it would be different. I don’t care if they (the alleged attackers of the Skripals) are arrested or put in prison.”

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Of Mr Skripal, he added: “I don’t know where Skripal is and I don’t know what I’d do if I met him. He’s still got his daughter.”

Of the Skripals, Mrs Sturgess, a retired civil servant, told the paper: “It’s sad they ended up in a coma but they weren’t the true victims. (Skripal) took risks – he must have known there was a chance people were still after him.”

Both Mr Skripal and his daughter were critically ill after the alleged assassination attempt in which the nerve agent had been sprayed on a door handle at their home.

Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey who rushed to the aid of a Russian ex-spy targeted with a nerve agent Credit: Wiltshire Police/PA

Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, who attended the scene, also needed hospital treatment and previously said he was “petrified” by the experience.

He told Panorama last November: “I didn’t understand how it had happened, scared because it’s the fear of the unknown because it’s such a dangerous thing to have in your system. Knowing how the other two (the Skripals) were or how badly they’d been affected by it, I was petrified.”

Photos issued by the Metropolitan Police of Alexander Petrov (left) and Ruslan Boshirov Credit: Metropolitan Police/PA

Last September, Scotland Yard and the Crown Prosecution Service said there was sufficient evidence to charge two Russian nationals named as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov with offences including conspiracy to murder over the Salisbury nerve agent attack.

It was subsequently reported by Bellingcat that Mr Boshirov was actually highly-decorated Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga, and Mr Petrov was a military doctor called Alexander Yevgenyevich Mishkin.

Both men told Russian state-funded news channel RT they travelled to the “wonderful” city in Wiltshire to see Stonehenge and Old Sarum after recommendations from friends.

Russian president Vladimir Putin has previously denied the men identified by the UK were responsible for the attack.

The Government has been contacted for comment.