THE cop who was poisoned by Novichok in the Salisbury attacks today revealed he has “had to admit defeat” and quit the force.
Sergeant Nick Bailey was left fighting for his life after being exposed to the nerve agent in March 2018.
But despite surviving the horror attack, the cop was left with depression and memory loss.
He tried to return to work three times but today said the Salisbury attack had taken “so much” from him.
Tweeting, the cop said: “After 18 years in the Police Force I’ve had to admit defeat and accept that I can no longer do the job.
“I wanted to be a Police Officer since I was a teenager, I couldn’t envisage doing anything else, which is why this makes me so sad.
“Like most Police Officers, I’ve experienced my fair share of trauma, violence, upset, injury and grief.
“We deal with it, take it on the chin and keep going because that’s our job. But we’re still human and the impact this has shouldn’t be underestimated.
“The events in Salisbury in March 2018 took so much from me and although I’ve tried so hard to make it work, I know that I won’t find peace whilst remaining in that environment.”
Sgt Bailey had tried to return to work in September 2018 and January 2019 – making a final attempt to rejoin his work in June this year.
The cop had been in intensive care for two weeks after being exposed to the nerve agent as he investigated the poisonings of Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.
He also suffered from hallucinations and vomiting, saying he had been left to “pick up the pieces” from the attack.
In a string of tweets announcing his retirement, the dad said: “Policing will remain in my heart and I feel honoured and privileged to have been part of Wiltshire Police.
“I am so grateful for the opportunities that they’ve given me, and the support that I’ve received.”
He added: “To all those in the Police, I salute you. Keep fighting the good fight, I’m just sorry that I’ve made the thin blue line that little bit thinner.
“Be proud of what you do and know that you make a positive difference to so many people.
“But for me, it’s time for a change. 1772: off duty.”
Just this week, his wife Sarah spoke out for mental health awareness, tweeting: “Watching someone you love struggle is mind numbingly painful. If that’s how I feel, living it must be a million times worse.
“Wish I could take it away, or fast forward to a better place. Always here my darling man Nick Bailey”
Sgt Bailey was poisoned as he investigated the collapse of the ex-KGB spy and his daughter Yulia, 34.
They were found slumped on a bench in a “catatonic state”.
At the time, it was not clear what had happened with it later found out they had been exposed to novichok.
After further investigation, it was discovered that the nerve agent had been administered to the property’s door handle, and that DS Bailey had become contaminated during his investigation of the house.
Tragically, Dawn Sturgess died after she and her boyfriend Charlie Rowley were exposed to the same Novichok nerve agent.
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The two Russians accused of carrying out the attack, were seen visiting Salisbury at the time gave the now infamous interview claiming they had been in the area to visit the famous “123-metre spire”.
The Queen and Prince William this week travelled to Salisbury to meet with staff who were involved in the painstaking investigation and the clear up of the attack.
They were then given a private tour of the Energetics Enclosure where they were shown a display of weaponry and tactics used in counter intelligence.