A pizza restaurant in Salisbury was closed by police late on Monday night as Sergei Skripal, 66, fought for his life in hospital a day after he was found unconscious in the Wiltshire city along with his 33-year-old daughter Yulia. [PA IMAGE]
UK

Army Colonel's Daughter First Person To Help Skripals After Novichok Poisoning

The 16-year-old thought Mr Skripal had suffered a heart attack and alerted her mother.

A pizza restaurant in Salisbury was closed by police late on Monday night as Sergei Skripal, 66, fought for his life in hospital a day after he was found unconscious in the Wiltshire city along with his 33-year-old daughter Yulia. [PA IMAGE]

A police cordon in Salisbury at the spot where the Skripals were found critically ill in March 2018 (Picture: PA).

It has been revealed a teenage girl was the first person to help Novichok poisoning victims Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

Abigail McCourt was with her family when she saw the 66-year-old ex-KGB spy and his daughter collapsed on a bench at The Maltings shopping centre in Salisbury on the afternoon of March 5 last year.

The 16-year-old thought Mr Skripal had suffered a heart attack and alerted her mother Alison, who is an Army colonel and chief nursing officer, and they went to administer first aid.

Military personnel helping with decontamination work in Salisbury earlier this year.
Troops were deployed to assist with the clean-up in Salisbury in April.

Speaking to Salisbury-based Spire FM, after winning the radio station's Local Hero Award, Abigail said: 

"It was my brother's birthday and we were out celebrating, and we were coming home and I saw them on the bench.

"At this point, people were still walking past and I don't think anyone had really noticed them.

"I told my mum because I thought he was having a heart attack. We went over and it developed from there."

Abigail had learned first aid at school and put her training to use.

"It just all helped and I did make a massive difference, I think, because the woman wasn't breathing at the time we found her.

"If someone is in trouble you have got to do something, and I don't think you really question it at all."

Abigail McCourt talks about the incident to Spire FM

Ms McCourt told the radio station she was "immensely proud" of her daughter.

"I just think she has been incredibly brave at the time to rush in. She's trained in first aid and is in the cadet force at school, and she would never walk on by even if it was obvious it was dangerous," she said.

"I know she'd do it all again if required to do so, which makes me immensely proud to be her mother."

Investigators believe the Skripals first came into contact with the poison when it was sprayed on the door handle of the former spy's home in Salisbury.

WATCH: The process removing the roof from Sergei Skripal's Salisbury home begins

Mr Skripal and his daughter survived the attack, which Prime Minister Theresa May said had "almost certainly" been approved by the Russian state.

Dawn Sturgess, 44, fell ill in Amesbury months after the incident and died in hospital in July after coming into contact with a perfume bottle believed to have been used in the attack on the Skripals and then discarded.

Her partner, Charlie Rowley, 45, was also exposed to the nerve agent but was treated and discharged.

Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov
Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov (Image: Metropolitan Police).

Last September, two Russian nationals were accused of travelling to the UK to try to murder Mr Skripal with Novichok.

Evidence gathered by intelligence agencies led the Government to conclude that the men were officers with Russian military intelligence service the GRU.

The two suspects - known by their aliases Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov - were caught on CCTV in Salisbury the day before the attack.

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