A police officer who was poisoned as a result of the Salisbury attack has said he felt “life is slowly coming to an end” while fighting a nerve agent at the hospital.
Nick Bailey was a detective sergeant with the Wiltshire Police when former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal was targeted in March 2018.
Speaking at a summit in London, he described how his day had started “very normally” when he heard radio chatter about two men slumped over a bench.
“I thought ‘I’m a little bored with what I’m doing, so I’ll walk downstairs to see what’s up’.” Mr Bailey remembered.
“At this stage we didn’t know what happened to them, it could be alcohol or drug related, or a medical emergency. We didn’t know.”
The investigation led to Mr. Skripal’s home, where the former officer inadvertently touched the front door handle, still covered in Novichok, that was allegedly abandoned by Russian GRU agents.
It left a forensic latex glove he was wearing “saturated” in the substance, but that had yet to be identified by authorities.
Mr Bailey said he was still in the dark, as he showed signs of nerve agent poisoning in the coming hours.
“I remember feeling very tired, sweating a lot,” he recalled. “I noticed my pupils were like pinpricks, they were really small, but I put it down to being incredibly tense and tired.”
The day after the poisoning, Mr. Bailey went to the hospital for a check-up as he was unwell, but was told that his vitals were fine and was sent home.
But “everything changed” when he went to bed, she said, and he began having nightmares and hallucinations, including a “tsunami of fire” on his skin.
Mr Bailey returned to the hospital on 6 March after his vision was impaired and he began to vomit, and was told that blood tests found nerve agents in his system.
He was taken to the intensive care unit, where Skripal was in a coma, and was executed but his condition began to deteriorate.
“I didn’t understand that this happened, that I was poisoned with a nerve agent,” he said at the Global Counter Terror Summit. “It was like something out of a movie, it was so ridiculous to make my head spin… I was scared, I didn’t know what was going to happen.”
Mr Bailey said he thought he was going to die at points, adding: “It wasn’t necessarily painful, it felt like your life was slowly being taken from you, it was terrifying.”
The officer was treated in the hospital for two and a half weeks, and Mr. Skripal and his daughter also survived.
Months later, in June 2018, a local man inadvertently picked up a fake perfume bottle containing Novichok and gave it to his partner.
44-year-old mother Don Sturges died after applying it to the skin. A judge has asked the Home Secretary to set up a public inquiry to fully investigate the circumstances of his death and the wider attack.
Last week, the Metropolitan Police announced charges against a third Russian GRU agent who was accused of involvement in poisoning. But the suspects are believed to remain in Russia and the Kremlin has denied involvement.
Mr Bailey said he had been targeted by conspiracy theorists, including some who accused him of poisoning Mr. Skripal.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /