19/07/2018 13:33 BST

Inquest Into The Death Of Novichok Poisoning Victim Dawn Sturgess Opens

Investigators think she picked up the chemical weapon in a discarded perfume bottle.

PA Wire/PA Images
Dawn Sturgess died eight days after apparently coming into contact with Novichok from the same batch used in the attempted murder of Sergei and Yulia Skripal 

An inquest into the death of Dawn Sturgess, who was apparently poisoned after coming into contact with Novichok, has been opened and adjourned. 

The 44-year-old died eight days after coming into contact with what is suspected to be the same batch of deadly nerve agent used in the attempted murder of Yulia and Sergei Skripal in Salisbury earlier this year.

Sturgess’s partner, Charlie Rowley, 45, was left fighting for his life after also being contaminated by the chemical weapon.

Coroner David Ridley said a cause of death would not be confirmed until further tests have been carried out. 


It is understood Sturgess was exposed to at least 10 times the amount of nerve agent the Skripals came into contact with.

Investigators are working to the theory that the substance was in a discarded perfume bottle found by the couple in a park or somewhere in Salisbury city centre after Sturgess sprayed Novichok straight on to her skin, the source said.

The inquest was opened at Wiltshire and Swindon Coroner’s Court on the day officers revealed they believe several Russians were involved in the attempted murder of the former double agent and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury and are looking for more than one suspect. 

It has been adjourned until 16 January 2019.