Novichok poisoning – what happened in Salisbury, who are the Russian suspects and when did Dawn Sturgess die?

Police have named two suspected hitmen wanted for the attack in Salisbury. Here’s the latest.

What happened in Salisbury?

Charlie Rowley, 45, and Dawn Sturgess, 44, were rushed to Salisbury Hospital after they were found unconscious at a home in nearby Amesbury, Wilts.

Scotland Yard later confirmed Sturgess died and police launched a murder probe.

Rowley regained consciousness and has since been released from hospital, although he later fell ill again.

On July 11 police recovered a bottle of Novichok from the Amesbury flat.

It is believed the couple picked up a perfume bottle that may have been discarded by the bungling assassins who tried to kill MI6 mole Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in March.

Dawn may have been exposed to ten times the dose of nerve agent received by the Skripals.

In August 2018, Charlie was rushed to intensive care after going BLIND – but his illness is not believed to be an effect of Novichok.

Who are the Salisbury poisoning suspects?

In September police revealed names and photos of two Russian men wanted over the attempted hit on the Skripals.

Cops issued a European Arrest Warrant for Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

The CPS said there was enough evidence to charge them with conspiracy to murder.

The suspects were caught on CCTV in Salisbury at 11.58am on Sunday, March 4, “moments before the attack”, police said.

It is understood Petrov and Boshirov stayed in the City Stay Hotel in Bow, East London, during their time in the UK.

Boshirov's real name is reportedly Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga, a 39-year-old soldier who served in both Chechnya and Ukraine.

A former Russian officer told Bellingcat that Chepiga's high rank suggested the Novichok hit was ordered "at the highest level".

Petrov was later revealed to be Dr Alexander Mishkin, a doctor in Russia's military intelligence agency.

He travelled to Salisbury under the alias Alexander Petrov.

Mishkin was recruited into the GRU while undergoing his medical training.

Cops searching their room on May 4 – almost two months after the attack in Salisbury – are said to have discovered minute traces of Novichok.

Police said the nerve agent was brought into Britain in a Ninna Ricci Premier Jour perfume bottle with a specially made poison applicator.

What happens now?

British officials are set to face their Russian counterparts as they brief the United Nations Security Council on September 6, 2018.

Prosecutors will tell the UNSC that there is enough evidence to charge the two men suspected of being behind the nerve agent attack.

Russia is a permanent member of the Security Council and will be represented at the meeting alongside UK allies the US and France.

In an address to MPs, Prime Minister Theresa May claimed the suspects are officers from Russia's military intelligence service the GRU.

Moscow continues to deny involvement in the attack.

When did Dawn Sturgess die?

The mum-of-three passed away on July 8 – eight days after she collapsed.

Scotland Yard have now launched a murder probe and although police did not reveal the mum's cause of death, it is thought she suffered heart failure.

PMTheresa May said: "I am appalled and shocked by the death of Dawn Sturgess, and my thoughts and condolences go to her family and loved ones.

"Police and security officials are working urgently to establish the facts…now being investigated as a murder."

When was Dawn's funeral?

Dawn's son, Ewan Hope, had been told that a funeral may not take place for months because her body is "property of the Crown".

However following a post mortem Dawn's body was released by Coroner David Ridley to her family so they could make arrangements to bury her.

Her funeral took place on July 30 at Salisbury Crematorium with her daughter, 11, making a "moving" eulogy.

Where is Amesbury?

Amesbury is a town and civil parish in Wiltshire, England, and is best known for the prehistoric monument of Stonehenge.

It has been confirmed by archaeologists that it is the oldest continuously occupied settlement in the United Kingdom, having been first settled around 8820 BC.

Amesbury is located in southern Wiltshire, seven miles north-north east of Salisbury.

The town sits in the River Avon valley on the southern fringes of Salisbury Plain.

How far is their house from where Russian spy Sergei Skripal was poisoned?

The house where the couple were found on June 30 is approximately eight miles from the site where Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with Novichok in March.

Scotland Yard believe the pair handled the container that housed the nerve agent.

Alcoholic Dawn lived in a refuge just 300 yards from the Zizzi restaurant where the Skripals ate on the day they were poisoned.

On the evening of July 12, emergency services were called to Zizzi in Salisbury after a man in his 30s reportedly fell ill.


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