Officer poisoned by Novichok ‘still waiting for part of his pension’

PA

A police officer who fell seriously ill after being poisoned in the Salisbury Novichok attack is still fighting for “part of his pension” after leaving the force, his wife said.

Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey was the first person to enter the home of Sergei Skripal after the Russian double agent and his daughter Yulia were found poisoned in the Wiltshire city in 2018.

He left the county’s police force after 18 years in October and his wife Sarah tweeted: “Nick retired 7 weeks ago and he’s still fighting for part of his pension.”

She was responding to comments made by the chairman of Wiltshire Police Federation about the nerve agent attack and its “biggest ongoing welfare operation”.

Mark Andrews wrote in the December issue of the federation’s Police magazine: “We … helped Nick to get the compensation package he deserved and supported him with insurance and his legal claim for injury at work.”

He added that Ds Bailey would receive support “for as long as he needs it”.

Mrs Bailey said: “Not quite sure where to start with this. Compensation package? injury on duty pay out? Nick retired 7 weeks ago and he’s still fighting for part of his pension. You even said he resigned. Not the case at all, he’s been medically retired!”

Ds Bailey made three attempts to go back to work, the latest in June this year, and described how he “couldn’t deal with being in a police environment” after efforts to return in September 2018 and in January 2019.

Russian nationals Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov are accused of carrying out the nerve agent attack
Russian nationals Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov are accused of carrying out the nerve agent attack

Announcing he was leaving the force in October in a series of tweets, he said: “After 18 years in the Police Force I’ve had to admit defeat and accept that I can no longer do the job.

“I wanted to be a Police Officer since I was a teenager, I couldn’t envisage doing anything else, which is why this makes me so sad.

“Like most Police Officers, I’ve experienced my fair share of trauma, violence, upset, injury and grief.

“We deal with it, take it on the chin and keep going because that’s our job. But we’re still human and the impact this has shouldn’t be underestimated.

“The events in Salisbury in March 2018 took so much from me and although I’ve tried so hard to make it work, I know that I won’t find peace whilst remaining in that environment.”

A police officer at a cordon near the Maltings in Salisbury where Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found on a bench
A police officer at a cordon near the Maltings in Salisbury where Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found on a bench

The Skripals survived the attack but the incident later claimed the life of Dawn Sturgess after she came into contact with a perfume bottle believed to have been used in the attack and then discarded.

Her partner, Charlie Rowley, was left seriously ill but recovered.

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

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