The inquest into the death of Dawn Sturgess, who was fatally poisoned after coming into contact with nerve agent Novichok, will explore the issue of Russian state responsibilty, a coroner has ruled.

Baroness Hallett told a pre-inquest review at the Royal Courts of Justice that the provisional scope of Ms Sturgess' inquest will also examine where the nerve agent came from, how and why it was brought to Salisbury, who brought it and whose directives they were following.  

Not exploring these issues would result in an "incompletely and potentially misleading investigation," she said.

Dawn Sturgess, 44, died on July 8 2018 after spraying herself with the nerve agent, which had been used to poison former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia on March 4.

The substance was contained in a perfume bottle given to her by her then partner Charlie Rowley at his Amesbury flat on June 30.

Both fell ill shortly afterwards but while Mr Rowley later recovered, Ms Sturgess never regained consciousness.

Baroness Hallett, a former appeal court judge, will preside over the inquest into her death.

Today (March 30), after hearing arguments from the legal representatives of the interested parties, Baroness Hallett ruled that the inquest will explore the events that occured between June 30 and July 8 2018, the medical cause of Ms Sturgess' death, the suffiency of the medical treatment she received, the poisonings of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, the events surrounding the poisonings, the source of nerve agent Novichok and Russian state responsible.

Her ruling comes after senior coroner for Wiltshire, David Ridley, had previously ruled out investigating where Novichok had come from and whether other members of the Russian state were responsible.

His ruling, challenged by Ms Sturgess' family, had been quashed by High Court judges who ruled Mr Ridley had wrongly narrowed the scope of the inquest.

A date for the inquest is yet to be set.

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