Police speak to nerve agent victim after he regains consciousness

Police speak to nerve agent victim after he regains consciousness

Police outside Dawn Sturgess' place of residence in Salisbury. Image: Getty

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Police have briefly spoken to Charlie Rowley, the man poisoned by a nerve agent, after he regained consciousness.

Mr Rowley, 45, made a "a small but significant improvement" yesterday (July 10) but still needs round-the-clock care, director of nursing at Salisbury District Hospital Lorna Wilkinson said.

Scotland Yard said police have spoken to him as they continue trying to track down the nerve agent that made him ill and killed his partner Dawn Sturgess.

Her death is being treated as murder.

The couple both fell ill in Amesbury, Wiltshire, on June 30 after it is believed they handled a vessel containing the deadly substance.

While the advice from Public Health England is that the risk to the public is low, Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies has warned everyone in the area not to pick up "any foreign object which could contain liquid or gel, in the interests of their own safety".

Read more: Car seized in Swindon as part of poisoning investigation

A massive counter-terrorism police investigation has been launched into the Amesbury poisoning.

The main line of inquiry is whether it is linked to the attempted murders of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in nearby Salisbury in March with the same nerve agent.

Central to the investigation are John Baker House, the supported-living accommodation where Ms Sturgess lived, Mr Rowley's home in Amesbury, and Salisbury's Queen Elizabeth Gardens, which remains cordoned off.

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the country's most senior counter-terrorism police officer, said there would need to be a forensic link to definitively prove a connection.

But Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson waded in and directly blamed Russia for committing "an attack on British soil which has seen the death of a British citizen".

The Kremlin has denied the allegations.