ANGUISH FOLLOWING ATTACK
Putin agents’ deadly strike
died rather than Dawn, because I felt like I had killed her. At one stage I said I was going to jump out of the hospital window.
“My head was going round in circles.”
Charlie had previously suffered drug problems and Dawn was a recovering alcoholic when they met in supported living accommodation in Salisbury.
He got his own flat in nearby Amesbury shortly before the tragedy. He said: “I’d lost a girlfriend through drug abuse about three years before, which was terrible. I found her dead in a bedroom.
“Then I met Dawn and she helped me through it. We had been together for a year and our relationship was brilliant. She wanted me to slip a ring on her finger. I wish I could have done that for her.
“She was such a caring person. I wake up every night hearing noises and thinking Dawn is in the house. I dream about her often – nightmares really – and have flashbacks a lot. I think I’m suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.”
Five people were poisoned in the attack – ex Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, his daughter Yulia, Dawn, Charlie and Det Sgt Nick Bailey, 38, who was involved in the investigation.
But Charlie feels he has received less attention from the authorities than the others. He said: “I’ve been left to get on with it as best as I can with no support.
“The system is flawed. I need counselling. If the authorities offered me help I would take it. I feel let down.”
A British probe found GRU agents
Hitmen Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov fly from Moscow to Gatwick on Aeroflot flight SU2588. Novichok is in a fake perfume bottle in hand luggage.
They check in at City Stay Hotel in Bow, East London, get train to Salisbury for reconnaissance mission – then return to London.
Smirking assassins seen on CCTV back in Salisbury before spraying the nerve agent on Sergei Skripal’s front door. Victim and daughter Yulia visit Zizzi’s diner and The Mill pub before being found slumped on park bench. They spend weeks in hospital before recovering and are now in a safe house.
Theresa May says it is “highly likely” Russia is behind the poisoning and expels 23 diplomats. Twenty-seven countries follow suit.
Russia retaliates by expelling the same number of British diplomats.
Det Sgt Nick Bailey, taken ill after attending the scene, is discharged from hospital.
Charlie Rowley finds perfume bottle in a bin in Salisbury. Girlfriend Dawn Sturgess sprays it on her wrists. She dies 10 days later. Charlie is hospitalised but survives.
Police declare a “major incident” after revealing Dawn and Charlie had been exposed to an “unknown substance”.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid accuses Russia of using Britain as a “dumping ground for poison” and demands answers.
CPS announces charges against Petrov and Boshirov, who are identified as GRU spies loyal to President Vladimir Putin.
Pair appear on Russian
TV, claiming they went to Salisbury as tourists to see cathedral “famed for its 123metre spire and clock”. using the names Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov flew from Russia to murder Skripal with Novichok, a nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union.
Charlie said: “I want them and people higher up who ordered the poisoning to suffer. I want justice for Dawn.”
Meanwhile, Charlie suffered further trauma when his home was burgled. He has been told he may get damages for his poison ordeal from the Criminal Injuries Authority, but it could take 10 years.
And he added: “I don’t think I’ll be alive in 10 years. It has been horrendous.”
VICTIM CHARLIE RECALLING AWFUL MOMENT GIRLFRIEND WAS POISONED
Charlie weeps yesterday as he tells of his ordeal and his fearsCAUTION Cop wears protective suitMarch 2:March 3:March 4:March 12:March 17:March 22:June 27:July 4:July 5:Sept 5:Sept 13: