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Skripal: addendum

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Skripal: addendum

Postby Londonrake » Sat Jun 13, 2020 7:58 pm

An old story but today a human interest article pops up in the DT prior to a new BBC dramatisation.

Paywalled I'm afraid.


'I was poisoned with Novichok – two years on, I'm still in pieces'
Ahead of new BBC drama, DS Nick Bailey speaks for the first time about how his family lost everything after he was poisoned with Novichok


Exhaustion must be causing these symptoms, thought Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, looking in the mirror and seeing pupils the size of pinpricks. It was the night of March 5 2018 and the Wiltshire police officer was sweating profusely. Perhaps this could be his first ever migraine, he wondered, following a long shift.

“I was dripping with sweat, boiling hot, then I saw a tsunami of fire, as if I had got close to the sun,” he recalls. Coming round from the hallucination, his vision was “pixelated and juddery”. He was terrified.

Hours earlier, DS Bailey had been the first person to enter Sergei Skripal’s home, after the former Russian spy and his daughter, Yulia, were rushed to hospital in a critical condition. He didn’t yet know that the Skripals had been poisoned with a deadly nerve agent, Novichok, or that he had also been infected. But his life was about to change irrevocably.

On March 6, DS Bailey was rushed to intensive care, where he spent 18 days fighting for his life. The Skripals lay in an adjacent room, while the outside world watched the Salisbury scandal unfold.

Its ripples were felt throughout the medieval cathedral city for a long time. Britain would accuse Russia of attempted murder, expel its diplomats and charge two intelligence agents (who ludicrously claimed they had only been there to see Salisbury’s famous spire) with the poisoning. Months later, local woman Dawn Sturgess, 44, would tragically pass away after she and her boyfriend, Charlie Rowley, picked up a discarded perfume bottle that Russian agents had used to transport the nerve agent.

Eventually, the Skripals would go on to recover and move to New Zealand, after more than a year in an MI6 safe house.

“The world has moved on, but I’m still trying to pick up the pieces,” says DS Bailey, now 40. “I’m not ashamed to say it has had a massive impact psychologically. It really pulled the rug from under my feet.”

“It’s changed you,” agrees his wife, Sarah, 39. Sitting in the kitchen of their new home and cradling mugs of tea, she coaxes her husband to open up, smiling as he speaks and finishing his sentences when he struggles. “The trauma of what happened in the hospital has stayed with you,” she adds.

The couple are giving their first newspaper interview ahead of BBC drama The Salisbury Poisonings, which replays their story in painful detail - including the moment their daughters, Eloise, 14, and Annabel, 10, asked Sarah if their dad was going to die.

DS Bailey wasn’t scared when he walked into the Skripals’ home as part of Wiltshire Police’s criminal investigation department. Wearing a forensic suit and latex gloves, he grasped the door knob, which Russian agents had covered with Novichok. He doesn’t know how it transferred to his skin, but was later told his glove was “saturated” with the nerve agent. Unwittingly, he spread it throughout the Skripals’ home, before carrying it to his own. Then, he became seriously ill.

“You can’t let this beat you, we’ll get through it,” Sarah recalls pleading by his bedside.

Miraculously, after just over two weeks in hospital, DS Bailey was discharged. But he couldn’t go home.

While he was in hospital, police had seized his home and its contents, moving his wife, children and their pet cat into a B&B. Sarah packed four suitcases’ worth of possessions, including photo albums, a couple of teddy bears, and the girls’ school uniform. She didn’t know then that it was the last time she would see the furniture, trinkets and toys that made up their family home. For the police, the risk of contamination remained too high.

“There could have been a speck of Novichok in the house,” explains DS Bailey. “At some point in the next month, year, or 10 years, somebody could have touched it.”

“It felt a little bit over the top, if I’m honest,” says Sarah, who had initially stayed in the house for five days after her husband fell ill. “Nobody explained what was going on. We never dreamt we wouldn’t get any of our things back. I feel a real sense of guilt about the stuff we can’t replace, which I should have saved, like first drawings and baby shoes. It really haunts me. ”

The police bought the Baileys’ home and destroyed their possessions as part of its clean-up operation, which also involved dismantling the Skripal property, removing the park bench where Sergei and Yulia collapsed, and burying 20 emergency services vehicles.

“It was heartbreaking,” says DS Bailey. “We scrimped and saved for that house. It was our forever home, but we only lived there for two years.

“As a policeman, you accept that you’re putting yourself in danger. You know it could go horribly wrong, but you do it so other people don’t have to. Sarah and the girls didn’t sign up for this, for losing everything.”

After three temporary houses, the family finally managed to buy a new home. But DS Bailey is still coping with the emotional fallout. The tears of those early months may have passed, but he suffers with depression and memory loss.

“Sarah has had to see me as a broken man; to watch someone she loves fall to pieces in front of her,” he says. “I’ve only admitted in the last month or two that I’ve been struggling.”

He hasn’t been assessed for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – and says he doesn’t have flashbacks or nightmares – but Sarah and his GP have wondered if that could be behind his low moods.

“It wasn’t just that I was poisoned with this military grade nerve agent that made it traumatic,” he says. “It was everything going on around me – I was in hospital, vulnerable, unable to protect my family. In the end, I shut down and went into survival mode.”

On Monday, he is returning to work at Wiltshire Police for the third time since the poisoning. He went back in September 2018 and January 2019, but both times found it overwhelming and hard to concentrate.

“I couldn’t deal with being in the police environment,” he says. “I crashed and burned. I felt like it was going OK, but I look back now and know it wasn’t. I was putting a brave face on.”

This time, he is going back to basics, joining a neighbourhood police team to build his confidence. It’s his final attempt before he looks for a different job.

“My heart says I’m a policeman, I’ve done it for 18 years and it’s all I’ve wanted since I was a kid, but my head is in a different place,” he admits. “Pre-Novichok, everything was falling into place. I had direction; now I don’t. It’s quite scary.”

He has little to say about the two Russian intelligence officers who were charged with the attempted murder of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, save for denouncing the attack as “reckless”. Sarah is more forceful: “It’s despicable. I can’t use the words that are running through my head. It’s changed our lives, and not in a good way.”

Indeed, his parents expressed concern that The Salisbury Poisoning drama was being made too soon – that survivors weren’t ready to see their pain depicted on screen. But speaking to its writers gave Bailey a reason to open up about what he had been through.

“It was cathartic,” he says. “I’ve run away from things for so long – I’m facing my fears now.”

Even after he left hospital, DS Bailey couldn’t comprehend how unwell he had been, so he asked Dr James Haslam, the doctor who treated him on the Radnor Ward – and who has since become a friend – how tenuous his situation had really been.

“I’ve seen a lot of sick people,” Dr Haslam told him, “but I’ve never seen anyone fight as hard as you did.”

“That hit it home,” says DS Bailey. “I feel very lucky, like I survived an invisible bullet.”
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Re: Skripal: addendum

Postby Londonrake » Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:34 am

The Salisbury Poisonings: TV drama revisits Novichok attack 'horror' https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-52962640

.
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Re: Skripal: addendum

Postby Robin Hood » Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:14 am

One of the problems I have with his version of events is why DS Bailey was on his own at a probable crime scene? Police officers always operate in pairs, even detective sergeants usually have a DC with them to take notes! This was pre-Covid, so detectives wouldn’t normally carry rubber gloves ..... that is something forensics would do! A detective would touch nothing ...... especially door handles and how did he get the keys? :?

Had this story stuck to the facts about the man and it had appeared in RT or Sputnik, you would have had it down as ‘Russian Propaganda’ because, if you cut out all the assumptions and unsubstantiated accusations and limited the story to the ‘human interest’ aspect, it just shows how badly he was treated by his employer .... the UK Government. They obviously gave the priority to hiding the Skripal’s and preventing any undesired news getting out! It seems they were treated very differently to DC Bailey? :roll:

I am afraid the Skripal affair is so full of holes that only an INDEPENDENT enquiry, (.... that’s INDEPEDENT of any UK Govt. interference) will bring out the truth.
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Re: Skripal: addendum

Postby Paphitis » Tue Jun 16, 2020 7:02 am

Robin Hood wrote:One of the problems I have with his version of events is why DS Bailey was on his own at a probable crime scene? Police officers always operate in pairs, even detective sergeants usually have a DC with them to take notes! This was pre-Covid, so detectives wouldn’t normally carry rubber gloves ..... that is something forensics would do! A detective would touch nothing ...... especially door handles and how did he get the keys? :?

Had this story stuck to the facts about the man and it had appeared in RT or Sputnik, you would have had it down as ‘Russian Propaganda’ because, if you cut out all the assumptions and unsubstantiated accusations and limited the story to the ‘human interest’ aspect, it just shows how badly he was treated by his employer .... the UK Government. They obviously gave the priority to hiding the Skripal’s and preventing any undesired news getting out! It seems they were treated very differently to DC Bailey? :roll:

I am afraid the Skripal affair is so full of holes that only an INDEPENDENT enquiry, (.... that’s INDEPEDENT of any UK Govt. interference) will bring out the truth.


They don't carry gloves in the UK.

Sorry, but I would have thought that is standard PPE in this day and age considering we live with AIDS and HIV.

Gee, every time I have seen them in Australia touching another person whom they are arresting, they wear gloves.
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Re: Skripal: addendum

Postby Robin Hood » Tue Jun 16, 2020 7:30 am

Paphitis wrote:
Robin Hood wrote:One of the problems I have with his version of events is why DS Bailey was on his own at a probable crime scene? Police officers always operate in pairs, even detective sergeants usually have a DC with them to take notes! This was pre-Covid, so detectives wouldn’t normally carry rubber gloves ..... that is something forensics would do! A detective would touch nothing ...... especially door handles and how did he get the keys? :?

Had this story stuck to the facts about the man and it had appeared in RT or Sputnik, you would have had it down as ‘Russian Propaganda’ because, if you cut out all the assumptions and unsubstantiated accusations and limited the story to the ‘human interest’ aspect, it just shows how badly he was treated by his employer .... the UK Government. They obviously gave the priority to hiding the Skripal’s and preventing any undesired news getting out! It seems they were treated very differently to DC Bailey? :roll:

I am afraid the Skripal affair is so full of holes that only an INDEPENDENT enquiry, (.... that’s INDEPEDENT of any UK Govt. interference) will bring out the truth.


They don't carry gloves in the UK.

Sorry, but I would have thought that is standard PPE in this day and age considering we live with AIDS and HIV.

Gee, every time I have seen them in Australia touching another person whom they are arresting, they wear gloves.


This .... as I said .... was pre-Covid. They didn't carry gloves in the UK and neither in Cyprus, even now ...... as detectives do not touch anything at a crime scene until forensics have finished their job.

FYI: You don't get HIV and AID's from door handles or toilet seats, you get it through sexual intercourse! A condom might help but I don't think a pair of surgical gloves would be of much use! :roll:
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Re: Skripal: addendum

Postby Paphitis » Tue Jun 16, 2020 11:40 am

Robin Hood wrote:
Paphitis wrote:
Robin Hood wrote:One of the problems I have with his version of events is why DS Bailey was on his own at a probable crime scene? Police officers always operate in pairs, even detective sergeants usually have a DC with them to take notes! This was pre-Covid, so detectives wouldn’t normally carry rubber gloves ..... that is something forensics would do! A detective would touch nothing ...... especially door handles and how did he get the keys? :?

Had this story stuck to the facts about the man and it had appeared in RT or Sputnik, you would have had it down as ‘Russian Propaganda’ because, if you cut out all the assumptions and unsubstantiated accusations and limited the story to the ‘human interest’ aspect, it just shows how badly he was treated by his employer .... the UK Government. They obviously gave the priority to hiding the Skripal’s and preventing any undesired news getting out! It seems they were treated very differently to DC Bailey? :roll:

I am afraid the Skripal affair is so full of holes that only an INDEPENDENT enquiry, (.... that’s INDEPEDENT of any UK Govt. interference) will bring out the truth.


They don't carry gloves in the UK.

Sorry, but I would have thought that is standard PPE in this day and age considering we live with AIDS and HIV.

Gee, every time I have seen them in Australia touching another person whom they are arresting, they wear gloves.


This .... as I said .... was pre-Covid. They didn't carry gloves in the UK and neither in Cyprus, even now ...... as detectives do not touch anything at a crime scene until forensics have finished their job.

FYI: You don't get HIV and AID's from door handles or toilet seats, you get it through sexual intercourse! A condom might help but I don't think a pair of surgical gloves would be of much use! :roll:


Gee, didn't think UK cops were that thick.

I find that hard to believe.

No but you need to handle all kinds of people, such as junkies, heroin addicts and so on. It's only a matter of time before they come across someone who has these diseases and all you require is one cut on the hand, and that's it. I have seen police here in Australia who carry them on their person and in their patrol cars. the paddy wagon coppers never get out of their vehicle without them.

Even doing a body frisk, people carry all sorts of things in their pockets and on their person such as syringes they have used to inject heroin, crack, meth and so on.

It's the same with Ambulance workers and other emergency services arriving at crash scenes.

Sorry, but I find it hard to believe that coppers in the UK and Cyprus can be so stupid to risk their health like that.
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