Skripal poisoning: Police officer poisoned by Novichok describes how his family lost everything. Picture: BBC
Skripal poisoning: Police officer poisoned by Novichok describes how his family lost everything. Picture: BBC

Miracle Novichok survivor ‘lost everything’

The police officer poisoned by Novichok in the attempted assassination of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia has told how he lost everything including his house, cars, and children's toys after they had to be destroyed.

Wiltshire Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey was one of the first on the scene at the Skripals' home after the father and daughter collapsed in the failed Russian hit in March.

He came into contact with the deadly nerve agent from a contaminated door handle, The Sun reports.

Speaking to BBC's Panorama program, Detective Sergeant Bailey described how it spread through his body leaving him "juddering" and "dripping with sweat".

He miraculously recovered but the tortuous ordeal didn't end there. After being discharged, the Wiltshire police officer's house and possessions had to be destroyed, leaving him "emotionally battered".

"Not only did we lose the house, we lost all of our possessions, including everything the kids owned, we lost all that, the cars," Detective Sergeant Bailey, who lived with wife Sarah and their two children in Fordingbridge, Hants, said.

"We lost everything. It's been very difficult to kind of come to terms with that."

A scientist at Porton Down Lab, named only as Tim, said realising that the poison was Novichok was a "jaw dropping moment".

"I went through a number of emotions from disbelief to anger," he said.

"It's one of the most dangerous substances known. It's quite unique in its ability to poison individuals at very low concentrations."

Father-of-two Detective Sergeant Bailey was left critically ill following the failed hit on former Russian military intelligence officer agent Sergei Skripal, 67, and his daughter Yulia, 34, at their home in Salisbury, England on March 4.

"I was the first person into the house," Detective Sergeant Bailey said.

"We had to make sure that there was no other casualties in the house. It was vital for us to find out what had actually happened to them.

"The house was in darkness. It just looked normal. There was nothing untoward. Came out of the house, secured it again, took our forensic suits off, which we then bagged up and then went back to the station."

Shortly afterwards, Detective Sergeant Bailey began to feel unwell, saying: "My pupils were like pin pricks. And I was quite sweaty and hot.

"At that time I put it down to being tired and stressed."

He went to bed at the end of his shift, but two days later he was feeling even worse so his family rushed him to hospital.

"Everything was juddering, I was very unsteady on my feet. The sweating had gone from my forehead down my back. My whole body was dripping with sweat," he described.

Recalling the moment he was told blood tests revealed it was Novichok, the police officer said he was terrified because he "didn't understand how it had happened".

"It's the fear of the unknown because it's such a dangerous thing to have in your system," he said.

"Knowing how the other two [Yulia and Sergei Skripal] were or how badly they'd been affected by it, I was petrified."

He also described his anger at the brutality of using such a deadly chemical in an attempt to kill someone.

"It's such an outrageous, dangerous way of doing something that it angered me as well because any number of people could have been affected by that."

Charlie Rowley miraculously survived being contaminated.
Charlie Rowley miraculously survived being contaminated.

Detective Sergeant Bailey was treated in intensive care of Salisbury District Hospital alongside the Skripals, in an ordeal that was painful.

"I was conscious, throughout the whole time. It was painful at the beginning. I had lots of injections. I had five or six infusions at any one time in my arms."

The Novichok, which is fatal in the tiniest of doses, had been smuggled into the UK in a fake perfume bottle.

It was found in Salisbury three months after the Skripals and Detective Sergeant Bailey had been poisoned, by local man Charlie Rowley, 45, who gave it to his partner Dawn Sturgess, 44. Both were poisoned.

Mr Rowley survived but Ms Sturgess died nine days later in hospital.

"I was in absolute shock when I heard about what happened to these two people and my heart goes out to Dawn and her family because I was able to walk out of hospital and sadly she wasn't," Detective Sergeant Bailey said.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon said told BBC that the Novichok poisoning could have killed thousands.

"The amount that was in the bottle and the way it was applied to the Skripals home address was completely reckless."

The assassins were eventually identified as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov after searching through 11,000 hours of CCTV footage.


This article originally appeared in The Sun and was republished with permission.

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