The police officer poisoned in the Salisbury Novichok attack has announced his departure from the force as he says the incident “took so much from me”.
Det Sgt Nick Bailey was contaminated with the nerve agent in March 2018 at the home of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, where it had been sprayed on the door handle.
On March 6, two days after the former Russian spy and his daughter had been poisoned, DS Bailey was rushed to intensive care, where he spent 18 days fighting for his life.
DS Bailey has now announced that after 18 years as an officer he would be retiring from Wiltshire Police as he “won’t find peace whilst remaining in that environment”.
In a statement posted on Twitter on Saturday the 40-year-old 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.
“Policing will remain in my heart and I feel honoured and privileged to have been part of Wiltshire Police.”
Responding to the announcement his wife, Sarah, wrote: “So proud of you! Onwards and upwards”.
Earlier this week, Sarah had spoken out about her husband’s mental health, writing on Twitter that “watching someone you love struggle is mind numbingly painful”.
“Wish I could take it away, or fast forward to a better place. Always here my darling man,” she added.
In June, ahead of a BBC drama about the poisonings that took the life of Dawn Sturgess, 44, DS Bailey told the Telegraph about the impact the incident had had on his mental health.
“The world has moved on, but I’m still trying to pick up the pieces,” he said and added: “I’m not ashamed to say it has had a massive impact psychologically. It really pulled the rug from under my feet.”
DS Nick Bailey to quit the force after Salisbury Novichok poisoning The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ The Telegraph.