NOVI­CHOK FOUND IN VIC­TIM’S HOUSE

But po­lice warn they may not have it all

Irish Daily Mirror - - IRISH DAILY MIRROR - BY ADAM ASPINALL adam.aspinall@mir­ror.co.uk

A SMALL bot­tle con­tain­ing the Novi­chok which killed a woman and left her boyfriend dan­ger­ously ill has been dis­cov­ered in his house.

Po­lice who made the an­nounce­ment yes­ter­day re­vealed they found the con­tainer on Wed­nes­day, just 24 hours af­ter Char­lie Row­ley, 45, woke from his coma.

It is be­lieved he may have been able to give them a vi­tal clue.

Mum-of-three Dawn Sturgess, 44, died last Sun­day while Mr Row­ley re­mains in a crit­i­cal but sta­ble con­di­tion.

New Scot­land Yard said the bot­tle was re­cov­ered from Mr Row­ley’s home in Ames­bury, Wilts – seven miles from Sal­is­bury, where ex-rus­sian spy Sergei Skri­pal and his daugh­ter were poi­soned with Novi­chok in March.

It was taken to nearby Por­ton Down where tests con­firmed it con­tained the Rus­sian-de­vel­oped nerve agent.

But As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Neil Basu, head of UK Counter Ter­ror­ism, warned they still can­not be sure they have found it all. He said: “This is 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.”

He de­clined to give fur­ther details of the bot­tle.

Mr Row­ley and Ms Stur- gess, who lived in Sal­is­bury, were found un­con­scious and foam­ing at the mouth at his home on June 30. Po­lice first sus­pected con­tam­i­nated drugs but two days later an­nounced it was Novi­chok.

The new find could shed fresh light on the at­tack on Mr Skri­pal and daugh­ter Yu­lia. Nei­ther has so far been able to give in­ves­ti­ga­tors any use­ful in­for­ma­tion.

But the Novi­chok found on Wed­nes­day first needs fur­ther tests to con­firm if it is the same batch as the one used on the Rus­sians.

Ex­perts from the Or­gan­i­sa­tion for the Pro­hi­bi­tion of Chem­i­cal Weapons have been asked to in­de­pen­dently con­firm the iden­tity of the poi­son.

Wilt­shire Chief Con Kier Pritchard called the find sig­nif­i­cant but still warned peo­ple not to pick up ob­jects in pub­lic places.

He said: “The over­all risk is low but the ad­vice is sim­ple. If you didn’t drop it, don’t pick it up.”

Last night Mr Row­ley’s friend Danny Bricken said: “It’s a mas­sive re­lief they have found it.

“He would pick up any­thing that lad. God knows when he found it. He prob­a­bly didn’t have a clue he had it.”

THE SEARCH Foren­sic teams at Ames­bury site VI­TAL CLUE Mr Row­ley woke from his coma HIS DOOR Bot­tle was found in­side

Dawn Sturgess died in hos­pi­tal on Sun­day

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