In Brief

Novichok poisoning: deadly nerve agent 'disguised as perfume', victim says

Salisbury poisoning survivor Charlie Rowley says nerve agent was contained in a sealed box of perfume

A man who survived coming into contact with the deadly Novichok nerve agent has revealed that he found the substance disguised as a sealed bottle of perfume.

Charlie Rowley, whose partner Dawn Sturgess died after exposure to the nerve agent, has told ITV News that Sturgess fell ill minutes after spraying what she thought was perfume on her wrists.

“Within 15 minutes, I believe Dawn said she felt she had a headache and asked me if I had any headache tablets. I had a look around the flat and within that time she said she felt peculiar and needed to lie down in the bath, which at the time I thought was a bit strange,” Rowley said.

Sky News says that the nerve agent was contained in a “sealed glass bottle and plastic dispenser”, which were “in a cardboard box with plastic moulding, and that Sturgess had recognised the brand”.

Rowley also said that he came into contact with the substance while trying to install the spray pump into the bottle.

“It was an oily substance and I smelled it and it didn’t smell of perfume. It felt oily. I washed it off and I didn’t think anything of it. It all happened so quick,” he said.

Residents in the area around Wiltshire have been reminded by officials to be cautious, saying: “If you haven’t dropped it then don’t pick it up.”

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