Charlie Rowley: Amesbury novichok victim's brother 'very surprised' by his recovery

'Obviously he's stronger than I thought'

Chiara Giordano
Saturday 21 July 2018 17:48 BST
Amesbury poisoning: what we know so far

The brother of novichok poisoning victim Charlie Rowley expressed his “surprise” at his sibling’s recovery after he was released from hospital.

Mr Rowley, 45, left Salisbury District Hospital three weeks after being exposed to the nerve agent in Amesbury, Wiltshire, alongside his partner Dawn Sturgess, 44, who later died.

“I’m very surprised because when I first saw him I thought he would be there for months,” his brother, Matthew Rowley, told Sky News. “Obviously he’s stronger than I thought.”

Mr Rowley described his brother’s recollection of what happened the day he was poisoned as “very vague”.

He said his brother could not remember where he and Ms Sturgess had come across the small bottle believed to be the source of the contamination, which was later found in his house.

But he added: “He definitely said to me that they found this bottle of something and Dawn sprayed it on her wrists and that he picked it up and broke it somehow – and that’s how he got it on his hands.”

Confirming Mr Rowley’s release from hospital, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust’s director of nursing Lorna Wilkinson reassured the public he did not create a risk to the community.

Dawn Sturgess, a mother-of-three from Durrington, died after being exposed to novichok
Dawn Sturgess, a mother-of-three from Durrington, died after being exposed to novichok (Facebook)

“Charlie has been through an appalling experience most of us could never imagine,” she said. “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.

“We continue to work closely with Public Health England who have advised that Charlie poses no risk to the community.”

Mr Rowley and Ms Sturgess were found collapsed on 30 June in Amesbury, near where Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were attacked with the same substance in March.

Mother-of-three Ms Sturgess’s death on 8 July is being treated as murder.

Police are believed to have identified the suspected perpetrators of the novichok attack on Russian former spy Mr Skripal and his daughter.

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 Mr Rowley and Ms Sturgess.

Russia has denied any involvement.

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