Police find source of Novichok poisoning in victim's house

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Police have found a bottle believed to have contained the novichok that killed Dawn Sturgess and poisoned Charle Rowley in Wiltshire, Scotland Yard have announced.

Dawn Sturgess, 44, from Durrington, died in hospital on Sunday evening after being exposed to the nerve agent the previous weekend.

Mr Rowley, 45, remains in hospital in Salisbury after being poisoned on 30 June.

The Metropolitan Police found a "small bottle" at Rowley's house on Wednesday.

In a statement, assistant commissioner Neil Basu warned of the possibility of further contaminated objects. "However, we can not guarantee that there isn't any more of the substance left", police said.

The restaurant had been cordoned off during the investigation of the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury in March, who had visited Zizzi shortly before their collapse, but it was later allowed to reopen.

Detectives say they are trying to work out where the bottle came from and how it came to be in Mr Rowley's house.

Police warn they can't be certain there are no more contaminated sites.


The discovery of the bottle comes as the Foreign Office announced independent chemical weapons experts would arrive in the United Kingdom next week to assist with the investigation.

The Foreign Office also on Friday said it had invited independent technical experts from the global chemical weapons watchdog to Britain early next week "to independently confirm the identity of the nerve agent". "These samples will be analysed at highly reputable worldwide laboratories designated by the OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons)", the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Today's discovery has been called "significant and encouraging" by Wiltshire Police.

He said private security guards would join officers on some of the cordons from next week, as the investigation continued.

"I hope that it will further reassure our communities in both Amesbury and Salisbury that the investigation, although complex, is meticulous", he said.

The advice remains "if you didn't drop it, then don't pick it up", a spokesman said.

A post-mortem will take place on Tuesday before an inquest into her death opens on Thursday.

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