NOVICHOK FOUND IN VICTIM’S HOUSE
But police warn they may not have it all
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