Officer poisoned by Novichok is 'fighting for pension' says wife

The wife of former Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, the officer from Wiltshire Police who fell seriously ill after being poisoned in the Salisbury Novichok attack, has revealed that he is still fighting for part of his pension.

Dec 7, 2020
By Tony Thompson

Det Sgt 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 city in March 2018. He spent more than two weeks in hospital.

Although he attempted to return to work on three separate occasions, he retired in October saying that the impact of the ordeal meant he was no longer able to do the job he loved. At the time, Wiltshire Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said the officer would always be part of the “police family”.

In the latest edition of the in-house magazine of the Police Federation of England and Wales, the chair of the Wiltshire Police Federation, Mark Andrews, wrote about the nerve agent attack and how it promoted the force’s “biggest ongoing welfare operation.”

Mr Andrews said the Federation had: “Helped Nick to get the compensation package he deserved and supported him with insurance and his legal claim for injury at work” and added that Mr Bailey would receive support for as long as he needed it.

However, Mr Bailey’s wife, Sarah, took to Twitter to question these claims. She wrote: “Not quite sure where to start with this. Compensation package? injury on duty pay out? Nick retired seven 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!”

Mr Bailey had attempted to resume his duties in September 2018, January 2019 and June 2020, but said he could no longer “deal with being in a police environment”.

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 spokesperson for Wiltshire police said: “Since Nick Bailey found himself at the centre of the Novichok international incident, Wiltshire police have worked with him and his family to provide continuing support to help them deal with the impact of this terrible incident and assist him to try and return to active police duties.

“It was with great sadness that regrettably this was not possible, and Nick left the force in October 2020 with our very best wishes for the future. It would be wholly inappropriate for us to further comment publicly on private matters relating to a former police officer.”

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 by depositing  Novichok on the front door of his home.

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