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Novichok poisonings: How events unfolded

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a park bench in Salisbury in March.

Military personnel investigating the poisoning of Sergei Skripal in a Salisbury car park (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Military personnel investigating the poisoning of Sergei Skripal in a Salisbury car park (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Charlie Rowley has been discharged from hospital after being poisoned by Novichok.

Mother-of-three Dawn Sturgess died in hospital having been exposed to the nerve agent, while her partner Mr Rowley, 45, was left fighting for his life after the couple fell ill in Amesbury, Wiltshire.

It comes as police are believed to have identified the suspects behind the attack on Russian former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury.

The Press Association looks at how events unfolded.

– Saturday March 3 2018

Yulia Skripal (Dylan Martinez/PA)

Yulia Skripal lands at Heathrow at 2.40pm.

– March 4

Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter, 33, are found unconscious on a park bench in Salisbury.

– March 7

Police say a nerve agent was used to poison the pair, and the case is being treated as attempted murder.

– March 8

Then home secretary Amber Rudd says a Wiltshire police officer, Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, is seriously ill in hospital.

– March 12

(PA Graphics)

Prime Minister Theresa May tells the House of Commons that the nerve agent is of Russian origin and the Government has concluded it is “highly likely” that Russia is responsible for the poisoning.

– March 14

Mrs May tells MPs the UK will expel 23 Russian diplomats, calling the incident an “unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the UK”.

– March 15

Leaders of Britain, the US, Germany and France issue a joint statement blaming Russia for the attack.

– March 17

Russia announces the expulsion of 23 UK diplomats and says it will shut down the British Council and British Consulate in St Petersburg.

– March 22

Det Sgt Bailey is discharged from hospital, but says in a statement: “Normal life for me will probably never be the same.”

– March 26

Britain’s allies announce that more than 100 Russian agents are being sent home from 22 countries, in what Mrs May calls the “largest collective expulsion of Russian intelligence officers in history”.

– March 28

(PA Graphics)

Scotland Yard reveals Mr Skripal and his daughter first came into contact with the nerve agent at his home.

– April 3

The head of the Porton Down military research facility says his scientists have not verified that the nerve agent used in Salisbury came from Russia.

– April 10

The hospital announces Ms Skripal has been discharged.

– April 17

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs says the Novichok used to attack the Skripals was delivered in a “liquid form”.

– May 18

It is announced Mr Skripal has been discharged from Salisbury District Hospital after more than two months of treatment.

– May 26

Businesses in the Maltings area of Salisbury reopen following the attack.

– June 30

Dawn Sturgess (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley fall ill at a property in Muggleton Road in Amesbury, eight miles from Salisbury, and are taken to hospital.

– July 2

Wiltshire Police warn of the dangers of contaminated drugs after the couple fall ill. Detectives believe they may have taken heroin or crack cocaine. The pair are in a serious condition at Salisbury District Hospital.

– July 4

In the early hours, police declare a “major incident” after revealing that Ms Sturgess and Mr Rowley have been exposed to an “unknown substance”.

Cordons are put in place at several locations across Amesbury and Salisbury.

Later that night, Scotland Yard reveals that tests show the couple, who have not been formally named, had been exposed to Novichok.

– July 5

Home Secretary Sajid Javid accuses the Russian state of using Britain as a “dumping ground for poison”, and demands that the Kremlin provide an explanation for the two episodes.

– July 6

Forensic investigators in hazardous material suits and gas masks begin searching the building where Ms Sturgess lives.

– July 8

Ms Sturgess dies in hospital following her exposure to Novichok.

– July 9

Amesbury Novichok poisoning – key locations (PA Graphics)

Scotland Yard launch a murder investigation over the death of Ms Sturgess.

– July 10

Mr Rowley regains consciousness.

– July 11

Investigators speak to Mr Rowley in hospital.

– July 13

Police reveal the source of the Novichok that poisoned Ms Sturgess and her partner was a small bottle found in Mr Rowley’s home.

– July 18

Specialist officers search Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury, a park at the centre of the poisoning probe.

– July 19

Police are believed to have identified the suspected perpetrators of the Skripal attack.

An inquest opens into the death of Ms Sturgess. Her body is formally released to her family for her funeral.

– July 20

Mr Rowley is discharged from Salisbury District Hospital after almost three weeks of treatment.



From Belfast Telegraph