Police officer exposed to Novichok running marathon for hospital

By Claire Hayhurst, Press Association

The policeman who was left critically ill after the Salisbury Novichok attack is running a marathon for the hospital that treated him.

Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey is believed to have come into contact with the deadly nerve agent when he and two colleagues searched the Salisbury home of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal.

Mr Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were left fighting for their lives after they collapsed on a bench in Salisbury on March 5, while Mr Bailey was also taken to hospital.

He was discharged on March 22 and has since returned to work at Wiltshire Police.

Writing on JustGiving, Det Sgt Bailey said he was running the Salisbury Marathon for the city’s hospital “because of the outstanding care” he received.

“In March 2018 I was poisoned by a nerve agent whilst at work,” he wrote.

“I was admitted to the Radnor Ward at Salisbury District Hosptal, an intensive care/high dependency unit.

“I was fortunate to be able to walk out of the hospital a couple of weeks later and this is down to the skill and determination of every doctor, nurse and member of staff on the ward.

“They truly are an amazing group of people that spend their days trying to save the lives of critically ill people.

“My recovery is taking time, but I have decided to try and repay them in whatever way I can for their first class care.

“So, on the 11th of August I’ll be running in the Salisbury Marathon, raising money for the Radnor Ward through the Stars Appeal.

“I know this will be be a challenge for me, but it will be nothing compared to the challenge that our amazing NHS staff face each and every day.

“If you could spare a little, anything at all, I would be very grateful.”

A window is removed by a member of the military as work continues on the home of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, Wiltshire (Andrew Matthews/PA)

The link was shared on Twitter by Wiltshire Police Federation.

The account tweeted: “Please consider donating to Nick Bailey’s Just Giving page.

“He is running Salisbury marathon in August and is an example to all on how to recover from adversity.

“Good luck you superhero.”

Work to decontaminate the Skripals’ home, in Christie Miller Road, is continuing.

Wiltshire Council previously wrote to neighbours warning them of the disruption the work, expected to take four months, will cause.

Investigators believe the Skripals first came into contact with the poison when it was sprayed on the door handle of their property.

Mr Skripal and his daughter survived the attack, which Prime Minister Theresa May said had “almost certainly” been approved by the Russian state.

Dawn Sturgess, 44, fell ill in Amesbury months after the incident and died in hospital in July after coming into contact with a perfume bottle believed to have been used in the attack on the Skripals and then discarded.

Dawn Sturgess, who died after being exposed to nerve agent Novichok (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Her partner, Charlie Rowley, 45, was also exposed to the same nerve agent but was treated and discharged.

Two Russian nationals have been accused of travelling to the UK to try to murder Mr Skripal with Novichok.

Evidence gathered by intelligence agencies led the Government to conclude that the men were officers from the Russian military intelligence service, the GRU.

The two suspects, known by their aliases Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, were caught on CCTV in Salisbury the day before the attack.

To donate to Sgt Bailey’s page, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nickbailey1772?utm_id=124