UK Officer Poisoned With Novichok in Salisbury 'Fighting for Pension,' Wife Says

UK Officer Poisoned With Novichok in Salisbury 'Fighting for Pension,' Wife Says
A police officer guards a cordoned off area after it was confirmed that two people had been poisoned with the nerve-agent Novichok, in Salisbury, Britain, on July 5, 2018. (Henry Nicholls/Reuters)
Lily Zhou

A British police officer poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok in 2018 is still "fighting for part of his pension," seven weeks after he was medically retired, his wife said.

Nick Bailey was one of the officers poisoned while responding to the scene where former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia had been poisoned in Salisbury, England, on March 4, 2018.

Bailey was taken to intensive care and stayed in hospital for three weeks. He returned to duty in 2019, then left the force in October 2020 after 18 years of service.

Bailey said he was very sorry to leave the job, which had been all he wanted to do since his teen years, but he had to admit defeat and accept that he could no longer do the job in the aftermath of the incident.

His wife Sarah Bailey made the comments about her husband's pension in reaction to a Twitter post on Friday by the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) promoting its December magazine.

The tweet highlighted an article about how Wiltshire Police Federation had supported officers impacted by the Novichok poisoning incident.

Mark Andrews, Wiltshire Police Federation Chair, said in the article that the Wiltshire Police Federation had been there to help the Bailey family deal with media attention and to secure a compensation package Bailey deserved.

"This was such a high-profile incident that it attracted a media circus with journalists camped outside his door, which was distressing for Nick and his family. The Federation was there to ensure his point of view was put across, to keep the media away from the door," Andrews said.

"We also helped Nick to get the compensation package he deserved and supported him with insurance and his legal claim for injury at work."

Andrews said that the Salisbury incident has been "the biggest ongoing welfare job that Wiltshire Police Federation has ever faced, because of the number of officers who have been impacted by the loss of their rest days through the stress and strain of dealing with the incident or the aftermath."

Commenting on the Twitter post, Sarah Bailey said that her husband was not in receipt of all of his pension.

"Not quite sure where to start with this. Compensation package? injury on duty pay out? Nick retired 7 weeks ago and he’s still fighting for part of his pension. You even said he resigned. Not the case at all, he’s been medically retired!" Sarah wrote on Twitter.

Wiltshire police said that they wished the best for Nick Bailey's future, but felt it was inappropriate to comment publicly on the matter.

“Since Nick Bailey found himself at the centre of the novichok international incident, Wiltshire police have worked with him and his family to provide continuing support to help them deal with the impact of this terrible incident and assist him to try and return to active police duties," a spokesperson for Wiltshire police told the The Epoch Times in an email.

“It was with great sadness that regrettably this was not possible, and Nick left the force in October 2020 with our very best wishes for the future," the spokesperson added.

“It would be wholly inappropriate for us to further comment publicly on private matters relating to a former police officer.”

Wiltshire police also said that they didn't force Bailey to retire, and that his pension is a matter for the pension provider rather than for the Wiltshire police.

Andrews said that Wiltshire Police Federation will continue to support Bailey when he needs it.

“What happened to Nick is unprecedented and I hope will never happen to any other police officer or any other British citizen again. I can only hope that one day the offenders will be brought to justice and Nick will be able to rest knowing that," Andrew said in a statement emailed to The Epoch Times.

"Wiltshire Police Federation has supported Nick and his family since this terrible incident and our door is always open to help him in the future.”

This article was updated on Dec. 6 with the response from Mark Andrews from the Wilshire Police Federation.
Lily Zhou is an Irish-based reporter focusing on UK news. Lily first joined the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times before turning her focus on the UK in 2020.