Brave police officer poisoned in Novichok attack to run marathon

Hero police officer who was left fighting for his life after novichok attack in Salisbury aims to raise thousands for the hospital that treated him – by running a MARATHON

  • DS Nick Bailey was left fighting for life after coming into contact with Novichok
  • The 39-year-old returned to duties at Wiltshire Police last month, a year later
  • Officer spent two weeks in hospital and lost home due to contamination levels
  • He had been poisoned after touching the door handle of Sergei Skripal’s home 
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Det Sgt Nick Bailey (pictured) was left fighting for life after coming into contact with Novichok at the home of Sergei Skripal

A hero police officer who nearly died when he was poisoned with nerve agent Novichok in last year’s Salisbury attack is running a marathon less than a year after the shocking incident.

Det Sgt Nick Bailey was left fighting for life after coming into contact with the deadly nerve agent at the home of Sergei Skripal.

He announced that he will be running to raise money for Salisbury District Hospital, which treated him in the aftermath of the poisoning. 

Writing on JustGiving, Det Sgt Bailey said he was running the Salisbury Marathon for the city’s hospital.

He wrote: ‘In March 2018 I was poisoned by a nerve agent whilst at work.

‘I was admitted to the Radnor Ward at Salisbury District Hosptal, an intensive care/high dependency unit.

‘I was fortunate to be able to walk out of the hospital a couple of weeks later and this is down to the skill and determination of every doctor, nurse and member of staff on the ward.

‘They truly are an amazing group of people that spend their days trying to save the lives of critically ill people.

‘My recovery is taking time, but I have decided to try and repay them in whatever way I can for their first class care.

‘So, on the 11th of August I’ll be running in the Salisbury Marathon, raising money for the Radnor Ward through the Stars Appeal.

‘I know this will be be a challenge for me, but it will be nothing compared to the challenge that our amazing NHS staff face each and every day.

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‘If you could spare a little, anything at all, I would be very grateful.’

The link to the page was shared on Twitter by Wiltshire Police Federaton. 

They wrote: ‘Please consider donating to Nick Bailey’s Just Giving page.

‘He is running Salisbury marathon in August and is an example to all on how to recover from adversity.

‘Good luck you superhero.’ 

DS Bailey was tasked with making sure there were no other casualties at their home, and was wearing a forensic suit rather than a protective hazmat suit.

He fell seriously ill two days later and was rushed to hospital where tests revealed he too had been poisoned with the nerve agent after touching the home’s door handle.

DS Bailey spent two weeks in hospital and lost his home in Fordingbridge, Hants, where he lived with his wife Sarah and two children, due to the contamination.

Speaking for the first time after the attack, DS Bailey said in November: ‘My pupils were like pinpricks and I was quite sweaty and hot.

‘At the time I put that down to being tired and stressed. It was horrendous, I was confused, I didn’t know what was going on and it was really, really frightening.’

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DS Bailey and two colleagues were sent to Skripal’s home (pictured on Saturday) on March 4, after the former Russian spy and his daughter were found seriously ill on a bench in Salisbury

Former Russian spy Mr Srkipal, 66, right, and his daughter Yulia, 33, left, were poisoned last year after the nerve agent was sprayed on the door handle of Mr Skripal’s home in Salisbury

Realising how ill the Skripals were, he feared for his own life, adding: ‘It’s the fear of the unknown because it’s such a dangerous thing to have in your system.

‘Knowing how the other two were and how badly they’d been affected by it, I was petrified.’

The Skripals survived the assassination attempt, but Dawn Sturgess, 44, fell ill in Amesbury months after the incident and died in hospital in July.

She had come into contact with a perfume bottle believed to have been used in the attack and then discarded at a park in Salisbury.

Her partner, Charlie Rowley, 45, was also exposed to the same nerve agent but was treated and discharged.

Two Russian nationals were accused of travelling to the UK to try to murder Mr Skripal with Novichok.

Russian nationals Alexander Petrov, left, and Ruslan Boshirov, right, are suspected of carrying out the attack after being caught on CCTV in Salisbury ahead of the incident

The two men, known by their aliases Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, were caught on CCTV in Salisbury the day before the attack.

Speaking on the day he was released from hospital on March 22, DS Bailey said: ‘People ask me how I am feeling – but there are really no words to explain how I feel right now.

‘Surreal is the word that keeps cropping up – and it really has been completely surreal.

‘I have been so very overwhelmed by the support, cards and messages I have received – everyone has been so incredible.

‘One thing that has lifted me throughout the last few weeks has been the public support the police service has received during this incident.

Detectives believe Sergai Skripal and his daughter Yulia, pictured, first came into contact with the poison Novichok when it was sprayed on the door handle of their property in Salisbury

‘The care I have received from the medical staff has been simply outstanding from day one – from the man that cleans the floor to the doctors giving the treatment – they have all been absolutely phenomenal.

‘Thank you just doesn’t seem enough and just doesn’t convey the gratitude I feel for what they have done for me.’

Wiltshire Police said around £350,000 worth of police vehicles had to be destroyed over fears they were contaminated with Novichok.

An estimated £7million was needed to cover costs of bringing in officers from 40 other forces, and £1.3million was set aside for overtime pay.

The Government pledged more than £5million to support local businesses in Salisbury and Amesbury following a drop in footfall after the first poisoning.

A timeline of the key developments in the Salisbury poisoning case

2010 – Sergei Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence officer jailed for spying for Britain, is released and flown to the UK as part of a swap with Russian agents caught in the United States. He settles in Salisbury.

March 3, 2018 – Yulia Skripal arrives at Heathrow Airport from Russia to visit her father in England.

March 4, 9.15am – Sergei Skripal’s burgundy BMW is seen in suburban Salisbury, near a cemetery, where his wife and son are commemorated.

March 4, 1.30pm – The BMW is seen driving toward central Salisbury.

March 4, 1.40pm – The BMW is parked at a lot in central Salisbury.

A police officer stands guard outside the Zizzi restaurant where Sergei and Yulia had lunch before they collapsed in a nearby park

March 4, afternoon – Sergei and Yulia Skripal visit the Bishops Mill pub.

March 4, 2.20pm to 3.35pm – Sergei and Yulia Skripal have lunch at the Zizzi restaurant.

March 4, 4.15pm – Emergency services are called by a passer-by concerned about a man and a woman in Salisbury city centre.

Officers find the Skripals unconscious on a bench. They are taken to Salisbury District Hospital, where they remain in critical condition.

March 5, morning – Police say two people in Salisbury are being treated for suspected exposure to an unknown substance. 

March 5, afternoon – Wiltshire Police, along with Public Health England, declare a ‘major incident’

March 7 – Police announce that the Skripals were likely poisoned with a nerve agent in a targeted murder attempt.

They disclose that a police officer who responded to the incident is in serious condition in a hospital.

March 8 – Home Secretary Amber Rudd describes the use of a nerve agent on UK soil was a ‘brazen and reckless act’ of attempted murder

March 9 – About 180 troops trained in chemical warfare and decontamination are deployed to Salisbury to help with the police investigation.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Moscow might be willing to assist with the investigation but expresses resentment at suggestions the Kremlin was behind the attack. 

March 11 – Public health officials tell people who visited the Zizzi restaurant or Bishops Mill pub in Salisbury on the day of the attack or the next day to wash their clothes as a precaution.

March 12, morning– Prime Minister Theresa May tells the House of Commons that the Skripals were poisoned with Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. 

March 12, afternoon – Public Health England ask everyone who visited Salisbury town centre on the day of the attack to wash all of their clothes and belongings. 

Officers wearing chemical protection suits secure the forensic tent over the bench where Sergei and Yulia fell ill

March 14 – The PM announces the expulsion of 23 suspected Russian spies from the country’s UK Embassy.  

March 22 – Nick Bailey, the police officer injured in the attack, is released from hospital.  

March 26 – The United States and 22 other countries join Britain in expelling scores of Russian spies from capitals across the globe. 

March 29 – Doctors say Yulia Skripal is ‘improving rapidly’ in hospital. 

Unknown time in the spring’  – Dutch authorities expelled two suspected Russian spies who tried to hack into a Swiss laboratory

April 3 – The chief of the Porton Down defence laboratory said it could not verify the ‘precise source’ of the nerve agent.  

April 5, morning – Yulia Skripal’s cousin Viktoria says she has received a call from Yulia saying she plans to leave hospital soon.

Dawn Sturgess died in hospital on July 8

April 5, afternoon – A statement on behalf of Yulia is released by Metropolitan Police, in which she says her strength is ‘growing daily’ and that ‘daddy is fine’.

April 9 – Ms Skripal is released from hospital and moved to a secure location.

May 18 – Sergei Skripal is released from hospital 11 weeks after he was poisoned.

June 30 – Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley fall ill at a property in Amesbury, which is eight miles from Salisbury, and are rushed to hospital.

July 4 – Police declare a major incident after Ms Sturgess and Mr Rowley are exposed to an ‘unknown substance’, later revealed to be Novichok. 

July 5 – Sajid Javid demands an explanation over the two poisonings as he accuses the Russian state of using Britain as a ‘dumping ground for poison’. 

July 8 – Mother-of-three Dawn Sturgess, 44, dies in hospital due to coming into contact with Novichok.

July 10 – Mr Rowley regains consciousness at hospital, and later tells his brother that Dawn had sprayed the Novichok onto her wrists.

July 19 – Police are believed to have identified the perpetrators of the attack.

August 20 –  Charlie Rowley is rushed to hospital as he starts to lose his sight, but doctors can’t confirm whether it has anything to do with the poisoning.

August 26 – Charlie Rowley admitted to intensive care unit with meningitis 

August 28  – Police call in the ‘super recognisers’  in bid to track down the poisoners

September 4 –  Charlie Rowley’s brother says he has ‘lost all hope’ and doesn’t have long to live.

Independent investigators, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, confirm the toxic chemical that killed Ms Sturgess was the same nerve agent as that which poisoned the Skripals. 

September 5 – Scotland Yard and CPS announce enough evidence to charge Russian nationals Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov for conspiracy to murder over Salisbury nerve agent attack. 

September 13 – Britain’s most wanted men speak to RT and claim to be humble tourists 

September 26 – The real identity of one of the two assassins, named by police as Ruslan Boshirov, is reported to be Colonel Anatoliy Vladimirovich Chepiga.

October 3: New photo emerges that appears to show Col Chepiga on the Wall of Heroes at the Far-Eastern Military Academy, providing more evidence against the Kremlin’s denials. 

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