A police officer who was poisoned in the Salisbury Novichok attack has quit because he “can no longer do the job”.
Det Sgt Nick Bailey was contaminated with the nerve agent at the home of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, the targets of the poisoning operation.
He returned to duty last year, but said the aftermath took “so much from me” and “I had to admit defeat”.
He worked for Wiltshire Police for 18 years and feels “so sad” after wanting to be an officer since his teens.
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….
— Nick Bailey (@ExDsNickBailey) October 17, 2020
Det Sgt Bailey and two colleagues were sent to Mr Skripal’s home in March 2018, after the former Russian spy and his daughter, who was staying with him, were found seriously ill on a bench in Salisbury.
He was contaminated when he touched the door handle of Mr Skripal’s home in the city.
The Skripals survived the attack, which prompted then Prime Minister Theresa May to tell the House of Commons the operation had “almost certainly” been approved by the Russian state.
In a series of tweets earlier, Det Sgt Bailey said the impact on him of the attack “shouldn’t be underestimated”.
“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,” he said.
“Like most police officers, I’ve experienced my fair share of trauma, violence, upset, injury and grief.
“Although I’ve tried so hard to make it work, I know that I won’t find peace whilst remaining in that environment. For me, it’s time for a change.”
In the months after the attack two Russian nationals were accused of travelling to the UK to try to murder Mr Skripal with novichok.
The pair – known by their aliases Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov – were caught on CCTV in Salisbury the day before the attack.