Novichok victim's flat is slowly reduced to rubble

Flat where Novichok victim Dawn Sturgess was fatally poisoned with nerve agent meant for ex-spy Sergei Skripal is slowly reduced to rubble in three-week demolition

  • Demolition underway at the former home of Dawn Sturgess’ partner in Salisbury 
  • Ms Sturgess, 44 collapsed in the home after coming into contact with Novichok
  • The flat is eight miles from where Yulia and Sergei Skripal were poisoned in 2018 
  • The mother-of-three died at hospital in July 2017, her partner was left seriously ill

The flat where Novichok victim Dawn Sturgess was fatally poisoned with a chemical nerve agent meant for ex-spy Sergei Skripal is slowly being reduced to rubble in a three-week demolition.

Mother-of-three Ms Sturgess, 44, collapsed at her partner Charlie Rowley’s home in Amesbury, near Salisbury, on June 30, 2018, after spraying the nerve poison hidden within a perfume bottle on both her wrists.

She was rushed to hospital but died on July 8 that year, her partner became seriously ill but recovered.

Her death was linked to the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in March of that year, both of whom survived, along with DS Nick Bailey. 

In 2018 it was revealed the Government was purchasing the homes of Mr Skripal and Mr Bailey as part of its clean-up operation.

Sergei Skripal’s home was ‘dismantled,’ in January 2019, according to The Guardian.

DS Nick Bailey, who announced he had quit Wiltshire Police last week, has previously spoken of the difficulty his family went through after losing their home.   

Demolition work is underway at the former home of Dawn Sturgess’ partner Charlie Rowley. Dawn fell ill in June 2018 after coming into contact with the Russian poison Novichok

The mother-of-three is thought to have sprayed the nerve agent on both her wrists a few months after discovering a perfume bottle near where the Skripals fell ill in Salisbury

It was reported at the time that Ms Sturgess had sprayed a perfume bottle in the flat, which she had found in a park near where the Skripal’s fell ill.

Matthew Rowley, who lives in Warminster, Wiltshire, told MailOnline in 2018: ‘My brother told me that he remembered that Dawn had sprayed the perfume on both her wrists.

‘He doesn’t recall much of what happened afterwards but that particular detail is stuck in his mind.

‘He also mentioned that he vaguely recollects there being an odd ammonia-type smell from the perfume. 

Two properties are being demolished in Amesbury, near Salisbury. In 2018 the Government purchased the homes of Sergei Skripal and DS Nick Bailey to be cleared 


Mother-of-three Dawn Sturgess (left) and her partner Charlie Rowley (right) fell ill at the flat after she handled a perfume bottle containing the poison. She died in hospital in Salisbury, Wiltshire, on July 8 that year. Mr Rowley was left seriously ill but recovered

Novichok was used in March 2018 in Salisbury in the attempted assassination of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal (right), 68, and his daughter Yulia (left), 36

Work saw its roof taken off and replaced, while internal items were covered and removed from the home as part of a clean-up operation.

DS Bailey, who announced he had left Wiltshire Police, previously spoke about having his family cleared out to prevent contamination.

He told BBC’s Panorama: ‘Not only did we lose the house, we lost all of our possessions, including everything the kids owned.

Work has begun on the Amesbury apartments nearly two years after the home of Sergei Skripal was ‘dismantled,’ as part of a clear up operation

DS Nick Bailey said his family ‘lost everything,’ as their home was cleared after it was purchased by the Government to clear up any contaminants

‘We lost everything. And yeah, it’s been very difficult to kind of come to terms with that.’  

Mr Rowley’s former home, on Muggleton Road, is one of two end-of-terrace flats which will be knocked down, in a process expected to take around three weeks. 

On Monday, housing provider Stonewater said it had worked ‘very closely’ with Wiltshire Council and consulted with residents on the best way forward for Mr Rowley’s former home.

It confirmed that demolition work on flat numbers 9 and 11 was now under way.

‘The cleared area will be landscaped, creating additional green space for the local community and we’ll be providing two additional homes at an alternative development nearby to ensure that there is no loss of affordable housing in south Wiltshire,’ a spokeswoman said.

‘Whilst we cannot forget the events that unfolded at this property, we’re pleased that we’ve been able to work together to come to this successful conclusio.

‘We’ll be doing our absolute best to minimise disruption.’

Mr Rowley’s former home, on Muggleton Road, is one of two end-of-terrace flats which will be knocked down, in a process expected to take around three weeks

Housing provider Stonewater said on Monday  it had worked ‘very closely’ with Wiltshire Council and consulted with residents on the best way forward for Mr Rowley’s former home

Novichok was secretly developed by the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold war in the 1970s and 1980s.

Communist scientists developed the poison so it would not be able to be detected by Nato’s chemical detection equipment.

They come in the form of a ultra-fine powder, Novichok is up to eight times more potent than the deadly VX gas.

Victims who are poisoned by the powder suffer muscle spasms, breathing problems and then cardiac arrest. There is a known antidote to the nerve agent. 

Atropine can block the poison but doctors find it very tricky to administer the antidote because the dose would have to be so high it could prove fatal for the person.

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