Inquest into Novichok victim Dawn Sturgess opened

Dawn Sturgess

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 1:29pm 19th July 2018.

A preliminary hearing has been held at Wiltshire's Coroner's Court in Salisbury's Endless Street.

Dawn's family didn't attend the initial hearing this morning (Thursday July 19th), which only lasted for around 15 minutes.

Earlier this week (Tuesday July 17th), a post mortem was carried out on the 44 year old's body.

The inquest has heard that Ms Sturgess passed away at Salisbury District Hospital after being exposed to novichok.

She'd been affected by 10 times the amount of nerve agent that former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia came into contact with back in March.

Flowers Dawn HEN
Flowers left near John Baker House where Dawn was living before her death.

It's understood Dawn suffered damage to her hands and face after coming into contact with a nerve agent with detectives believed to be looking at the theory it was in a perfume spray.

Wiltshire's coroner David Ridley confirmed during the hearing today that a small glass bottle of fluid was recovered by investigators and that tests showed it contained novichok.

He said no further details of the cause of Dawn's death would be disclosed until more tests had been carried out.

The inquest has been adjourned until 16 January, 2019.

Charlie Rowley, who was also exposed to the nerve agent, is still in hospital in a serious but stable condition. 

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