The grieving parents of Dawn Sturgess, the only person killed in the bizarre Skripal poisoning affair, say they are angry at the British government and press, but don’t hate Russia, which London made the villain in the story.
In an interview with the Guardian, Stan and Caroline Sturgess blamed the government for settling Sergei Skripal, the former double agent at the heart of the Salisbury poisoning scandal, in the Wiltshire town. They believe this decision started the chain of events that led to the death of Dawn, who lived in Amesbury, some 7 miles (12 kilometers) to the north.
Neither Moscow, nor the Russians that London has been accusing of attempting to kill Skripal with a “military-grade poison” are the sides they feel are immediately responsible for what happened.
“I can’t take it personally,” said Caroline. Stan added: “If they’d targeted Dawn specifically, it would be different.” He said of the alleged attackers: “I don’t care if they are arrested or put in prison.”
While the two don’t dispute the accusations against Russia, they apparently don’t buy into the framing of what happened to Skripal as an over-the-top attack on Britain. “He took risks – he must have known there was a chance people were still after him,” Caroline said.
They also believe their own government is not being forthcoming about what happened.
I want justice from our own government. What are they hiding? I don’t think they have given us all the facts. If anyone, I blame the government for putting Skripal in Salisbury.
The mistrust could have something to do with the couple’s personal experience. They say the British authorities and media slandered their daughter to make her death fit a narrative that they wanted. Initially painted as an asocial drug addict, Dawn was more of a hippie type, who may have had problems with booze, but didn’t take recreational drugs.
“They were trying to get out the message that ‘this couldn’t happen to you, don’t worry, it’s because of their lifestyle’,” Caroline said referring to Dawn and her partner, Charlie Rowley, who survived after being poisoned with the same substance that killed Dawn.'
Read more: Parents of woman killed by ‘poison used on Skripal’ blame… UK government, British media, but not Russia