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Novichok: Safety measures at victim Dawn Sturgess’ funeral

Dawn Sturgess

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Dawn Sturgess died on 8 July

Safety measures will be in place to protect mourners later at the Salisbury funeral of Dawn Sturgess, who died from exposure to the nerve agent Novichok.

The Rev Philip Bromiley, who will be officiating, said the funeral directors took advice from Public Health England.

Mr Bromiley said there would be no pallbearers and the coffin would be in situ before mourners arrive.

PHE would not comment on the private cremation but reiterated its advice that the risk to the public was low.

Ms Sturgess, 44, died on 8 July after she and her partner Charlie Rowley, 45, were exposed to Novichok the week before in Amesbury, Wiltshire.

Mr Bromiley said he believed many friends and relatives of the mother of three were expected at the funeral, including Mr Rowley, who was discharged from hospital on 20 July.

“The message I received is that there are certain measures in place to make sure the service will be as safe as possible,” he said.

He added: “The service will be a celebration of Dawn’s life, giving thanks for the really loving and giving person she was.

“The theme will be peace – peace for her family, for her friends and the city of Salisbury and the surrounding towns and villages affected by the chaotic last few months.”

The poisoning of Mr Rowley and Ms Sturgess came four months after the case of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.

The pair were found unconscious on a park bench in Salisbury in March after coming into contact with Novichok. They have since been discharged from hospital.

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Mr Rowley left hospital on 20 July

Ms Sturgess lived in Salisbury, and the couple had been in the city before going to Mr Rowley’s flat in nearby Amesbury on 29 June.

They collapsed after exposure to the nerve agent at his house on 30 June.

A murder inquiry was launched after Ms Sturgess’ death.

Mr Rowley told ITV News he had earlier found a sealed bottle of perfume and gave it to his partner, who sprayed the substance on her wrists.

Police refused to confirm Mr Rowley’s claim but had previously said the substance was found in a “small bottle”.

The UK government has blamed Russia for the attack on the pair in March, but the country’s authorities deny any involvement.

Novichok: Safety measures at victim Dawn Sturgess’ funeral

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