Novichok victim Charlie Rowley wakes from coma to be told his girlfriend is dead

Novichok victim Charlie Rowley woke from his coma to be told his girlfriend was dead, his brother has revealed.

Charlie’s older brother, Matthew Rowley, 47, visited him in Salisbury District Hospital earlier today.

He also said he was shocked to see how ‘weak and skeletal’ Charlie is after fighting off the Novichok poison.

Charlie, 45, woke from a coma after 10 days in intensive care on Monday.

The speed of his recovery has amazed medics and has even allowed detectives to talk to him in the hope of finding the source of the poison that tragically killed mum-of-three Dawn Sturgess, 44.

Matthew said: “It was quite shocking. He’s not the Charles I know.

“He’s awake. He’s talking, making sense but he’s like a skeleton.

“I’ve never seen so many machines. There must have been six machines and he had a hell of a lot of tubes coming out of him. He’s still in intensive care.

“The nurse said he will be here for some time but because he’s talking he’s getting better, it’s a good sign. He’s still on critical but stable.

“I hardly recognised him to tell the truth. He will get better. That’s through not eating.

“He’s on solid food. He couldn’t lift his head off the pillow. We managed to have a little laugh with the nurses.

“The nurses say he’s getting stronger.”

Scotland Yard revealed they have had a “brief” chat with Charlie but Matthew said the police forbade him from talking about it with him saying: “I’m not allowed to talk about the cause and where it happened.”


It is hoped Charlie can provide the vital breakthrough in the case that could also shed light on what happened to former Russian spy Sergei Skripal , 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33.

But Matthew said he had a nice chat with his brother and revealed his grief at losing Dawn and his fears for the future.

Matthew said: “He had his life with his girlfriend.

“I didn’t want to upset him He was a bit tearful. I didn’t want to upset him.

“I changed the subject.

“He knows why he’s in there. He’s asked the police to contact Dawn’s family.

“We had a good chat. We talked about his house.


“He’s worried about losing his house. We had a chat about old times and what will happen in the future.

“I said if he ever gets trouble be can come and stay here. I told him don’t worry, just get yourself straight.

“He started to tire out. That’s why I left.

“At the moment I think he’s just living by the hour.

“It was upsetting. Just seeing him in that condition.

"The whole hospital is fantastic. They had to dress me up in protective clothing and gloves. It’s the nature of what’s happened.”

But Matthew also revealed that Charlie is trying to keep his spirits up in spite of what happened to him and losing Dawn.

He said: “He’s got a TV. He’s watched himself on the news.

“He just laughed and said: ‘I’m famous now.’ He’s got a sense of humour.

“He was a bit slurry but he was trying his best. I would imagine he’s on an awful lot of drugs.

"It was very upsetting. He smiled as soon as I came in.

“I wiggled his toes a bit to make sure he was alive. I couldn’t get too close because of all the machines.

“I gave him a DVD player and some films and some pocket money.

“He’s a very nice guy, very friendly, he’d do anything for you. He’s always had girlfriends.

“It’s awful, it’s difficult to believe this has happened anywhere in the world let alone Salisbury or Amesbury. It’s the sort of thing you see in James Bond films.”

Last night, 200 concerned Amesbury residents attended a public meeting where they were told "you know it’s murder" and that the nerve agent could last for 50 years in Salisbury.

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