DAWN Sturgess never regained consciousness after being contaminated by Novichok, and died when her life support was switched off, an inquest heard.

The inquest into Ms Sturgess's death was opened and adjourned this morning in Salisbury, but no cause of death was released to the public.

Coroner David Ridley confirmed that Ms Sturgess's body had been identified by her sister, hospital staff and police before a post mortem on Tuesday.

Stephanie Sturgess, Dawn's sister, had visited her in Salisbury District Hospital on Sunday, July 8 - the day of her death.

In a statement she said: "At about 5.30pm to 6pm I was informed that the decision had been made that the medical staff wanted to turn off her oxygen.

"I then said my goodbyes to Dawn."

She died later that evening, at about 8.20pm and remained in Radnor Ward at the hospital until her body was collected by police the following morning.

The bottle believed to be the source of the deadly nerve agent that was later found in Ms Sturgess's boyfriend Charlie Rowley's home in Amesbury was made of glass, Mr Ridley said.

Mr Ridley released Ms Sturgess's body to her family, and said police and pathologists did not have "any problems" with this.

But he said a cause of death would not be confirmed until further tests had been carried out.