Novichok was not the nerve agent used in the attempted assassination of ex-Soviet spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter according to a top police officer. Midsomer constabulary Inspector Tom Barnaby who was called in to help with the inquiry into the alleged attack by Russian agents in Salisbury has now identified the material which disabled the pair as a serious overdose of pot pourri from the vast number of gift shops whose wares have long polluted the atmosphere of the city.
Barnaby was called in to help on account of his expertise in dealing with rural crime after it was discovered that a forensic scientist working for the Metropolitan Police on the Skripal case and 33 others had been suspended from duty on “suspicion of mishandling evidence”, all before the first ad-break.
A spokesman for the Met said that while the situation was serious, in that doubt was being cast on scientific evidence was cast in doubt it was a “tremendous relief to know that the whole thing hadn’t been caused by some prat at Porton Down leaving a window open, and that a conclusion to the whole affair could be expected within a two-hour episode, before News at 10.”
Inspector Barnaby told a press conference that he had his suspicions even before he was approached about the case. “Every time my wife Joyce goes into one of these shops, she buys a ton of the stuff and when I walk into a cloud of this sickly muck on entering my own home I get the same symptoms as the Skripals. I imagine this will become a running joke in future episodes, that along with the dwindling number of residents in the area that I police.’
“I suppose on the upside the fall in the tourist trade as a result of this case may well reduce the number of gift shops and the consequent pollution’, continued Barnaby, although I have to warn that as with all my cases, some annoying loose ends will never fully be cleared up.”