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18.12 22 Mar 2018


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A police officer in Britain being treated for exposure to the nerve agent used in Salisbury has been discharged from hospital.

Wiltshire police chief read a statement from the officer, Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey.

It said: "People ask me how I am feeling - but there are really no words to explain how I feel right now. Surreal is the word that keeps cropping up - and it really has been completely surreal.

"I have been so very overwhelmed by the support, cards and messages I have received - everyone has been so incredible."

Sergeant Bailey also thanked staff at Salisbury District Hospital for their "phenomenal" care.

He said the attention on the case was "really overwhelming.

"I am just a normal person with a normal life, and I don't want my wife, children, family or I to be part of that attention. I do hope the public can understand that," said Sergeant Bailey.

The Wiltshire police officer asked for privacy to "re-group, recover and most importantly spend time with my loved ones".

His wife, Sarah, also released a statement that said their world had been "turned upside down" and was "the most traumatic event of our life".

"Nick doesn't like the term 'hero', but he has always been a hero to me and our children," she said.

Sergeant Bailey was part of the initial response to the nerve agent poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, who were found on a bench in Salisbury on March 4th.

It comes as a court heard the mental capacity of the former Russian double agent and his daughter may be compromised to an unknown degree.

The Court of Protection in London said it was "not possible to say when or to what extent" they may "regain capacity".

"The precise effect of their exposure on their long term health remains unclear albeit medical tests indicate that their mental capacity might be compromised to an unknown and so far unascertained degree," said a judgment by Mr Justice Williams.

The former spy and his daughter remain critical but stable in hospital and under heavy sedation.

The court also confirmed that blood samples from the Skripals had been analysed by experts, with findings indicating exposure to novichok or a closely related nerve agent.

The judgment said they were being treated on the basis they would want to be kept alive and achieve optimal recovery.

The Skripals' case went to court because experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons want to take a sample of their blood to check the UK's novichok assessment.

The UK Court of Protection makes rulings for people, such as the Skripals, who lack the required mental capacity to decide for themselves.


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