British man exposed to novichok in Wiltshire fears poison will kill him

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A British man who was exposed to novichok in Wiltshire fears the poison will kill him within a decade. Charlie Rowley has said he is “terrified” about the future and is struggling with his eyesight and mobility.

The 45-year-old was affected by the same nerve agent that was used to target ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury in March.R

Mr Rowley and his partner Dawn Sturgess, 44, fell ill in the nearby town of Amesbury fmonths after the Skripals were targeted.

Ms Sturgess died in hospital in July.T

Dawn Sturgess
Image:Mr Rowley’s partner Dawn Sturgess died from her exposure to the nerve agent

Britain has accused Russia of carrying out the poisoning of the Skripals, who both survived.

Moscow has also been blamed for the death of Ms Sturgess and the poisoning of Mr Rowley, who are believed to have come into contact with novichok discarded by the Skripals’ attackers.

British police named Russian nationals Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Borishov Aas the perpetrators.

Mr Rowley told the Sunday Mirror: “I may be out of hospital but I don’t feel safe.

“I’m terrified about the future.

“Doctors simply don’t know what the long-term effects could be.

“The worst thing has been the fear over my sight.

“I’m struggling to see properly and to walk.

Sergei and Yulia Skripal were attacked with novichok and found slumped on a bench in Salisbury in March
Image:Sergei and Yulia Skripal were exposed to novichok and found slumped on a bench in Salisbury in March

“I’m one of only a handful in the world to have survived novichok, so it’s untrod territory.

“I feel like a guinea pig. I don’t know what’s going to happen from one day to the next.”

He added: “I’m still worried the novichok could kill me if I get any sort of virus again – it’s on my mind all the time.

“I’m dreading getting a cold.

“When I got out of hospital the first time I was pleased.

“But it may have been too soon because a few weeks later I was back – blind and unable to use my left arm with meningitis.

“I remember losing all balance and suffering tunnel vision.

“Doctors told me I’d suffered numerous strokes and I needed heart treatment and a pacemaker. It’s all to do with the novichok.”F

Mr Rowley told the newspaper he has felt suicidal and that he has had no support.

He said: “The system is flawed. I need counselling. If the authorities offered me help I would take it. I feel let down.”

Mr Rowley added: “I don’t think I’ll be alive in 10 years. It has been horrendous.”

Police have said they do not believe that Mr Rowley or his partner were deliberately targeted, rather that they were affected because of the “recklessness in which such a toxic nerve agent was disposed of”.

Borishov, one of the men suspected of poisoning the Skripals, was later revealed to be a Russian military intelligence service colonel.

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