Officer poisoned in novichok attack pursues Wiltshire police

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The policeman poisoned in the Salisbury Novichok attack has filed papers in the High Court suing Wiltshire Police for the trauma he continues to suffer three years after being exposed to the nerve agent.

Nick Bailey was seriously injured after coming into contact with Novichok when he entered the home of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in March 2018.

Bailey, who was a Detective Sergeant, spent 17 days in hospital and retired from Wiltshire Police in October 2020, explaining that the impact of the ordeal meant he could no longer do the job.

Bailey’s attorney, Patrick Maguire, partner at Horwich Cohen Coghlan law firm, said on Wednesday: “These three years have been difficult for all affected by the events of March 2018.

“Our client went through a trauma that had a devastating effect on his family and forced him to leave the job he loved after more than 18 years of dedicated service.

“We hope to reach a resolution very soon with the Wiltshire Police Department so that Mr Bailey and his family can continue the healing process and move forward with their lives.”

It is understood that Bailey’s legal team sent a ‘pre-action letter’ to Wiltshire Police about a year ago, but are still awaiting whether the force accepts responsibility.

Bailey’s lawyers plan to serve full details of the claim in the High Court this summer if there is no resolution.

Maguire represents people who have suffered “serious or catastrophic injuries and families who have lost a loved one.”

The personal injury claim is filed under ‘workplace accidents’ and comes five months after Bailey’s wife Sarah tweeted that he was ‘still fighting for part of his pension’.

Skripal and her daughter, Yulia, also survived the Novichok attack, but at the end of June 2018, a Wiltshire woman, Dawn Sturgess, and her partner, Charlie Rowley, were poisoned in Amesbury, at 13 miles north of Salisbury, after Rowley found a fake perfume. bottle containing novichok. Rowley recovered but Sturgess, 44, died on July 8.

The role played by the Russian state in Sturgess’ death must be studied in detail during its investigation.

Speaking to Wiltshire College for a podcast last month, Bailey recounted how he felt “overwhelming with guilt” after his family was forced to leave their home because he contaminated it with the nerve agent.

He said: “The trauma for me was a prolonged trauma. I remember feeling panic and fear of the unknown because I had been poisoned by this nerve agent and you just don’t know where it’s going to end.

Bailey added: “There was a lot of fear and a lot of guilt because later while I was in the hospital my family were basically told that they had to leave our house because I accidentally took over. a nerve agent and contaminated the house. ”

He said he initially struggled with simple daily chores and was still taking medication three years later.

Bailey plans to write a book and is also volunteering as a keynote speaker on crises, resilience and mental health.

A spokesperson for Wiltshire Police said: “As a matter of principle, it would be inappropriate for us to comment on private or potential legal issues relating to a former police officer.”

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