Novichok-Poisoned Cop: 'We Lost Everything'

Nick Bailey describes 'emotional battering' in first interview
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2018 8:15 AM CST
Novichok-Poisoned Cop Still Can't Go Home
Police officers stand guard near the home of Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, England, on March 13, 2018.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

(Newser) – It wasn't just a police officer's health that suffered after he came into contact with Novichok left on the door handle of the home of a former Russian spy living in England. "We lost everything," Det. Sgt. Nick Bailey tells the BBC in his first interview since the March 4 attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter. After working the scene at Skripal's home in Salisbury, the 38-year-old father of two returned to his own home, unknowingly contaminating it with nerve agent that had somehow bypassed his protective suit and gloves. "We lost all of our possessions," even "the cars," he says, noting the family has been unable to return home. All these months later, the pain still feels fresh. "I was petrified," Bailey says of learning of the Novichok contamination.

The police officer had begun to feel ill within hours. "My whole body was dripping with sweat" and "everything was juddering, I was very unsteady on my feet," Bailey says, per the Telegraph. "It was painful at the beginning … I had lots of injections," he adds of his two and a half weeks at Salisbury Hospital, for which he was "conscious throughout." His mental health wasn't as quick to bounce back. "I describe it as emotional battering." Still, Bailey considers himself lucky and says he often thinks of Dawn Sturgess, the 44-year-old woman who died after spraying her wrists with a perfume bottle containing Novichok. Per the Guardian, an investigator says there was enough nerve agent in the bottle to kill people "possibly into the thousands." (A suspect in the poisonings reportedly received Russia's highest award.)

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