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A police officer who nearly died after being poisoned with Novichok during the 2018 Salisbury nerve agent attack is quitting the force, he has confirmed.

Nick Bailey apologised for “leaving the blue line thinner” but said the poisoning had “taken so much” from him.

DS Bailey, was left fighting for his life when he was contaminated by Novichok when Russian spies targeted former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

He recovered and returned to work with Wiltshire Police, even taking part in a recent charity fun run. But today he announced on Twitter that he couldn’t carry on.

He said on Twitter: “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 to make it work, I won’t I won’t find peace whilst remaining in that environment.

“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 they have given me, and the support I have received.

“We’ve all seen that the ‘policing family’ very much exists and in the current climate it’s more important now than ever. To all those in the police, I salute you.

“Keep fighting the good fight, I’m just sorry I’ve made the blue line that little bit thinner. For me, it’s time for a change.”

DS Bailey’s wife Sarah, replied to her husband’s announcement on Twitter, saying: “So proud of you! Onwards and upwards.”

Three days ago, tagging her husband’s account, she said on the social media platform: “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.” She ended the tweet with the hashtag £mentalhesalthawareness, while DS Bailey in his tweets today used £mentalhealthmatters.

The couple, who have two children, were portrayed by Black Mirror actor Rafe Spall and Annabel Scholey during a recent BBC drama series about the attack.