High Court asked to review scope of inquest into Novichok victim

14 July 2020, 12:18 | Updated: 14 July 2020, 12:20

Dawn Sturgess had died in hospital in Salisbury, Wiltshire, during the summer of 2018
Dawn Sturgess had died in hospital in Salisbury, Wiltshire, during the summer of 2018. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The High Court has been asked to rule on whether the inquest into the death of Sailsbury Novichok victim Dawn Sturgess should be widened.

Judges have been told the victim's daughter now wants the coroner to expand the scope of their inquest and examine who ordered the attack which rocked the Wiltshire city in 2018.

She claims the decision is flawed.

The legal action comes after the senior coroner for Wiltshire, David Ridley, put limits on what would be investigated at an inquest.

Two senior judges are considering the case which started on Tuesday as a virtual hearing.

The court heard that Ms Sturgess died in hospital in Salisbury, Wiltshire, during the summer of 2018.

Lord Justice Bean and Mr Justice Lewis said Ms Sturgess's daughter was a child who could not be fully named in media reports of the case.

They said an adult relative was acting as her "litigation friend".

Lawyers representing Ms Sturgess's daughter told judges that Mr Ridley had opened an inquest.

But they said he had decided that he would not consider whether any Russian state agents, other than two named suspects, were responsible for Ms Sturgess's death, or issues relating to the source of the Novichok.

They said that meant the inquest would not investigate "credible allegations" that other Russian state agents were involved or "key questions" about how "the operation" was arranged.

The hearing is due to end on Wednesday.

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