Amesbury novichok incident: Charlie Rowley released from hospital after nerve agent exposure

His partner died after being exposed to the poison

Samuel Osborne
Friday 20 July 2018 17:36
Wiltshire Police release drone footage of Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury

Charlie Rowley, who was poisoned by novichok along with his partner in Amesbury, has been discharged from Salisbury District Hospital.

Mr Rowley, 45, and his partner, Dawn Sturgess, were taken to hospital after they were exposed to the poison near where the Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter were attacked with the same substance.

Ms Sturgess, 44, died earlier this month. Her death is being treated as murder.

Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said: “On behalf of all my officers, staff and volunteers, we welcome today’s news that Charlie Rowley has been discharged from Salisbury District hospital. We wish him the best with his ongoing recovery.

“I would also like to pay tribute to the staff at Salisbury District Hospital for the outstanding care and compassion they have shown to everyone involved in both this incident and the incident in March.

“The last few months have had an unprecedented impact on all the local emergency services and partner agencies and the response from all has been outstanding.

“Wiltshire Police will continue to co-ordinate activity with partner agencies at a local level to ensure that Mr Rowley continues to receive the support he needs in his ongoing recovery.”

Novichok was produced by the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Britain has blamed Russia for poisoning the spy and his daughter, who both recovered, as well as accidently poisoning the Mr Rowley and Ms Sturgess.

Russia has denied the charges.

The poisoning of the Skripals ignited a diplomatic row in which hundreds of diplomats were expelled from Russia and Western nations.

Police say the source of the novichok which killed Ms Sturgess was a small bottle they found in Mr Rowley’s house, and more than 400 items have been recovered as part of the murder investigation.

But Public Health England said Mr Rowley’s release poses no risk to the public.

Lorna Wilkinson, director of nursing at Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, said: ”Charlie has been through an appalling experience most of us could never imagine.

“Today is a very welcome milestone in his recovery and all of us here at Salisbury Hospital wish him well as he continues to get better. The progress he has made is a testament to the remarkable clinical team who have worked tirelessly, supported by brilliant behind the scenes staff.”

Ms Wilkinson added: “I would also like to reassure everyone that, despite many people seeking advice following these incidents, there have only ever been a total of five people who have been exposed to this nerve agent and admitted to hospital for treatment.

“In the past four and a half months, our hospital has treated all five victims while the world looked on and yet we have never closed our doors to the public.”