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On-the-run Salisbury Novichok hoaxer jailed

On-the-run Salisbury Novichok hoaxer jailed

A picture of the couple

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Instagram Anna Shapiro

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A picture of Alex King and Anna Shapiro, posted on Ms Shapiro’s Instagram account in 2015

A drug dealer who sparked fears of a Novichok attack similar to that which hospitalised a former Russian spy and his daughter has been jailed.

Alex King went on the run in December after claiming he had been poisoned at a Prezzo restaurant in Salisbury.

The hoax in September came six months after the nerve agent was used against Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

King, 42, was found guilty of selling drugs, including cocaine and ecstasy and sentenced in January to 11 years.

He was arrested on Wednesday, admitted breaching his bail, and was jailed at Southwark Crown Court for a further four months.

‘Glamorous, seedy existence’

King claimed he had been poisoned in a branch of Prezzo, where he had been dining with his Russian-born wife, Anna Shapiro, last September.

It sparked a major incident and the area was sealed off in echoes of the aftermath involving the Skirpals, who fell ill shortly after leaving Zizzi, another Italian dining chain in the city.

King was last seen leaving a flat near Harley Street, with his wife, on 17 December.

He was arrested about half a mile away at an address in Chiltern Street, in Marylebone, west London.

Scotland Yard said a 30-year-old woman who was arrested for assisting an offender remains in police custody.

King’s lifestyle was laid bare in court earlier this year when he was convicted of two charges of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, one charge of conspiracy to supply Class B drugs and one charge of conspiracy to supply Class C drugs.

Sebastian Gardiner, defending one of King’s associates, described King in court as a “very bizarre” character who lived a “glamorous, albeit seedy, existence”, making money from arranging parties, selling drugs and supplying high-class escorts to his VIP clients.

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County Championship: Sussex bowl out Middlesex for 138 on day one at Lord’s

County Championship: Sussex bowl out Middlesex for 138 on day one at Lord's

Sussex seamer David Wiese tore through Middlesex’s top order
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Lord’s (day one)
Middlesex 138: Harris 38*; Wiese 5-26
Sussex 169-4: Salt 50; Murtagh 3-34
Sussex (3 pts) lead Middlesex (1 pt) by 31 runs

Middlesex were skittled for just 138 by Sussex on day one as the visitors took early control of the game at Lord’s.

Sussex seamer David Wiese starred with 5-26 and paceman Ollie Robinson claimed three wickets with only James Harris (38 not out) passing 20 for Middlesex.

Captain Dawid Malan, who has been in superb form this season, was one of five batsmen to edge behind for 15.

Sussex closed on 169-4, a lead of 31, with opener Phil Salt (50) one of three wickets for Irishman Tim Murtagh.

Harris gave Middlesex a late boost by removing Laurie Evans lbw for 31, but Stiaan van Zyl went to stumps on 46.

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Charlton Athletic offer Patrick Bauer and Joe Aribo new contracts

Charlton Athletic offer Patrick Bauer and Joe Aribo new contracts

Patrick Bauer (right) scored the goal which secured victory for Lee Bowyer’s Charlton in the League One play-off final

Charlton Athletic have offered new deals to Joe Aribo, Patrick Bauer, Jake Forster-Caskey and Tariqe Fosu after winning promotion from League One.

Centre-back Bauer, 26, scored the 94th-minute goal which sealed a 2-1 win over Sunderland in Sunday’s play-off final.

Meanwhile, Josh Parker and Jonny Williams are among six players who have been released by manager Lee Bowyer.

Nicky Ajose, Mark Marshall, Ben Reeves and Igor Vetokele will also leave The Valley when their contracts expire.

Forward Parker, 28, and Wales international Williams, 25, both featured against the Black Cats at Wembley.

“They are all different reasons as to why we haven’t offered those lads contracts,” Bowyer told the club website.