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Published on Jul 24, 2018
Amesbury Novichok poisoning victim Charlie Rowley has revealed a sealed box of perfume which he found and later gave to his girlfriend contained a deadly nerve agent which killed her.
In an exclusive interview with ITV News, the 45-year-old explained how his partner Dawn Sturgess fell ill moments after spraying the liquid on her wrists.
He said: "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.
"I went into the bathroom and found her in the bath, fully clothed, in a very ill state."
Mr Rowley later fell critically ill himself. Dawn died eight days later.
He told ITV News he had found a sealed box in a cellophane wrapper containing a perfume bottle some days earlier, and had kept it at his Amesbury home, before handing it to his partner of two years as a gift.
He explained how he struggled to remember where he had originally found the item but was convinced it was legitimate, as it looked like it hadn't been used, "Which made me think it was quite safe," he said.
The latest development as to how Mr Rowley and Ms Sturgess came into contact with Novichok "raises questions" as to whether Salisbury is now free of the nerve agent, according to ITV News Correspondent Rupert Evelyn.
He said: "We are not privy to a lot of the details that police have as part of the investigation, but what Charlie Rowley said today was interesting in terms of the perfume bottle.
"He said it was unopened, the box it was in was sealed, and that they had to use a knife in order to cut through it.
"That raises the question: if it wasn't used, is this the only Novichok that exists in this city? And was it the same Novichok used to attack Sergei and Yulia Skripal?"