Police find source of Novichok poisoning in victim's house

Dawn Sturgess Official

Doctors were unable to save Dawn Sturgess

The nerve agent that killed a woman in Wiltshire and left her boyfriend critically ill has been found in his house, police have revealed.

The Metropolitan Police said a bottle found at Charlie Rowley's house had been tested by scientists at the Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down. His partner Dawn Sturgess, 44, died last weekend.

The Met's Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said: "This is clearly a significant and positive development. However, we can not guarantee that there isn't any more of the substance left" Basu said.

Her husband, Mr Rowley has since regained consciousness but remains in serious condition, as hospital staff continue to treat him.

"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".

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Britain has invited independent technical experts from the global chemical weapons watchdog to travel to the United Kingdom early next week to independently confirm the identity of the nerve agent, the British Foreign Office said on Friday.

On Tuesday evening, military staff in Hazmat suits seized a white Audi belonging to an Air Ambulance paramedic who treated Ms Sturgess, and wrapped it in clingfilm.

An inquest into Sturgess' death is set to open and adjourn in Salisbury on next Thursday.

The search for the container was conducted by officers from Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism command.

Public health officials say the risk to the public is low, but advised people not to pick up any odd items. Further scientific tests will be carried out to try and establish whether it is from the same batch that contaminated Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March - this remains a main line of inquiry for police.

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