HELP ME GET JUSTICE FOR MUM, MR PUTIN
He writes heartfelt letter to Russian leader
THE son of novichok victim Dawn Sturgess today begs Vladimir Putin to give up the men suspected of killing her.
Dawn, 44, died after she handled poison dumped by two hitmen.
Her son Ewan Hope, right, has written to the Russian President on the eve of the anniversary of the Salisbury attack. Ewan says: “I appeal to you as a human being to allow our officers to question these men. The least she deserves is justice.”
GRIEVING Ewan Hope today reveals the letter he has sent to Vladimir Putin pleading for justice a year after his mum died in the Salisbury novichok attack.
Ewan, 20, appeals to Mr Putin to hand over the two suspected hitmen.
He says in his letter: “The pain never goes away for me and my family.
“British police believe at least two Russian citizens were responsible for her death but it appears they are being protected by your state.
“I am appealing to you as a human being to allow our officers to question these men about my mother’s murder. “The least she deserves is justice.” Ewan also tells the Sunday Mirror of his fears that 44-year-old Dawn will never be allowed to rest in peace.
He accuses the Government of offering no support and says his family even had to go cap in hand to a charity to pay for Dawn’s funeral.
She died after spraying novichok – disguised as perfume – on her wrist.
Alexander Mishkin and Anatoliy Chepiga, from military intelligence unit the GRU, are believed to have dumped the scent after targeting ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal, 68, and daughter Yulia, 34.
The suspects were caught on CCTV and Ewan believes only Mr Putin – who has denied the agents’ involvement – can bring closure.
Ewan tells the Mirror: “Putin needs to give up these killers so my family can finally get justice.
“He needs to show he’s capable of showing some humanity to our family. I would ask him to imagine how he would feel if he was in my shoes.
“We’ve lost our mum and all we want is justice. He should be able to understand that.
“I am desperate. Mr Putin is the only man who can make sure justice prevails. I need his help to do right by my mum. I am counting on him.”
Ewan, his brother Aidan, 22, and their sister Grace, 12, are still reeling from Dawn’s death. It will be a year tomorrow that novichok was smeared on the Skripals’ front door in Salisbury, Wilts.
Sergei and Yulia were later found slumped on a park bench. They spent months in hospital but survived.
They remain under MI5 guard at great expense. And pictures yesterday showed a Ministry of
Defence official laying flowers on a family grave in Salisbury on the Skripals’ behalf – because it is too dangerous for them to step out in public.
Ewan says his family, meanwhile, have been left to fend for themselves. He says: “I fear we’ll never get justice for Mum and I
feel betrayed and let down by the Government. I know they’ve supported the Skripals and I’m glad because I have sympathy for them and what they’ve been through.
“But my family haven’t had that support and we’re the ones who have lost our mum. She was an innocent victim, but we’ve never heard anything from Theresa May or the Government – not a phone call, a letter, or anything. We haven’t even heard from our MP. We just find out things on the news the same as everyone else.
“I feel the Government just wants to move on, but we can’t because we haven’t got justice for Mum. Until we do, we can’t get closure.”
Dawn died last July, months after the attack on the Skripals. Her partner Charlie Rowley found what he thought was perfume and gave it to her at his flat in nearby Amesbury. She fell critically ill within 15 minutes. Dawn’s funeral was at Salisbury Crematorium but because of fear of contamination no pallbearers were allowed.
Ewan continues: “Grace gave a eulogy highlighting the things Mum did for her and Mum’s casket was lowered while Leave a Light On, by Tom Walker, was played. Afterwards we had a wake at a local pub and laughed and cried together. It helped.”
Dawn’s ashes are in a wicker box at Ewan’s grandparents’ home, surrounded by photos, candles and a white cuddly toy she had as a child.
He adds: “I would like to scatter the ashes at a place I can go to and have vivid memories of Mum and feel close to her.
“I talk to her and whenever I make big decisions I hear her voice in my head telling me what to do.”
Ewan remains haunted by the CCTV images of the suspects. Telling of the first time he saw them on the news, he says: “I was so angry... they looked so smug and happy with themselves.
“But I felt a sense of relief as well because I thought something would happen and that they would be caught. Now I feel like we’ve been lied to. The strange thing now is we know who killed Mum, the evidence is there and we know how it happened, but we can’t get them to face justice. It’s really frustrating.
“I feel I have to try and move on and put it behind me, but at the same time I don’t want to because I want justice for Mum first.
“I feel like I’m never going to be able to get the closure I need to be able to move on and that it’s going to upset me for the rest of my life.”
Mishkin and Chepiga, both 39, were widely ridiculed for their claim they were in Salisbury as tourists. They have been charged in their absence by UK counterterror detectives over the poisonings. The Skripals may move to a new life in the US at UK taxpayers’ expense.
President Putin needs to show some humanity to our family. I’m counting on him EWAN HOPE VICTIM’S SON ON HIS PLEA TO RUSSIAN PRESIDENT
KILLED Innocent mum Dawn handled the poison. Son Ewan, inset
POISON VICTIM Mum Dawn died at 44EXCLUSIVE Mirror coverage yesterday MISSION Chepiga, left, and Mishkin
DEFIANCE President Putin defended agents
THE TARGETS Sergei Skripal and his daughter Tulia HAUNTED BY THE INJUSTICE Ewan Hope outside Salisbury Cathedral