United Kingdom

Officer poisoned in Salisbury Novichok attack suing his former police force

An ex-police officer who fell seriously ill after being poisoned in the Salisbury Novichok attack is suing his former force.

Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey was the first person to enter the home of Sergei Skripal after the Russian double agent and his daughter Yulia were found poisoned in the Wiltshire city in 2018.

Lawyers acting for the former officer lodged the case against Kier Pritchard, the chief constable of Wiltshire Police, at the High Court earlier this month.

The personal injury claim, filed under "accidents at work", comes after Mr Bailey's wife Sarah tweeted last December that he was still "fighting for part of his pension".

Patrick Maguire, partner at national law firm Horwich Cohen Coghlan, who is representing Mr Bailey, said: "It has been a challenging three years for everyone affected by the events of March 2018.

"Our client experienced a trauma which had a devastating effect on his family and forced him to leave the job he loved after more than 18 years of loyal service.

"We hope to come to a resolution very soon with Wiltshire Police so that Mr Bailey and his family can continue the process of healing and move forwards with their lives."

Mr Bailey left Wiltshire Police after 18 years in October last year after making three attempts to go back to work.

He described how he "couldn't deal with being in a police environment" after efforts to return in September 2018 and in January 2019.

Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia survived the attack but the incident later claimed the life of Dawn Sturgess, 44, after she came into contact with a perfume bottle believed to have been used in the attack and then discarded.

Her partner, Charlie Rowley, was left seriously ill but recovered.

Two Russian nationals have been accused of travelling to the UK to try to murder Mr Skripal with Novichok, smearing the highly toxic substance on the door handle of his home in Salisbury.

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

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

Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement, with President Vladimir Putin claiming the two suspects were civilians, and the pair stating in an interview that they were tourists visiting Salisbury Cathedral.

Wiltshire Police declined to comment for legal reasons.

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