A police officer poisoned with novichok revealed that he had been accused of trying to assassinate Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, and Yulia Skripal’s daughter.

Nick Bailey was a former detective sergeant and said he was shocked that Salisbury authorities didn’t find out about an ex spy living in their midst.

His daughter and Mr Skripal were both found unconscious on a bench by Salisbury Cathedral’s Cathedral on March 4, 2018, after they had been poisoned with the nerve agent novichok.

Mr Bailey, 41, then came into contact with the military-grade chemical after he was sent to the Skripals’ home in the city – where it had been sprayed on the front door handle.

Nick Bailey with wife Sarah

Nick Bailey who was poisoned during the 2018 Novichok attack

Nick Bailey, the policeman poisoned by novichok, has revealed he was accused of being the assassin who tried to kill Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in 2018

Dawn Sturgess was 44 when she found a novichok-containing perfume and applied it to her wrist. She died four months later. Charlie Rowley, her boyfriend, was critically ill, but he recovered.

The suspected assassins – Russian intelligence officers Anatoliy Chepiga and Alexander Mishkin – were caught on CCTV as they travelled from Moscow to the Wiltshire cathedral city.

Denis Sergeev (a senior Russian agent) was thought to have been the third suspect. Following the unsuccessful attempt to murder them, they fled back home to Russia.

The former officer’s revelations were made in a Discovery Plus documentary Secrets of the Salisbury Poisonings, to be screened on Boxing Day, which delves into the attack.

During the 90-minute show, Mr Bailey said: ‘I was just a normal guy, normal police officer doing his job, and Sunday, March 4, 2018, happened and it changed my life forever.’

According to him, after working 16 hours, he came home exhausted from sweating. ‘I remember as well, my pupils were quite small but didn’t think any more of it,’ he said.

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found on a bench together close to Salisbury Cathedral on the afternoon of March 4 having been poisoned with nerve-agent novichok

Sergei Skripal was found with his daughter Yulia on a bench close to Salisbury Cathedral, having been poisoned using nerve-agent novelichok.

While unwell on Monday, it was the following day he woke hallucinating and sweating in what he calls ‘a tsunami of pure heat and fire’ following which he was admitted to A&E.

‘Even the staff at the hospital were scared about how this was going to work and what was going on. It was pure terror,’ he said.

‘I cried a lot because I was so scared. I thought it’s only a matter of time before I slip into a coma and die.’

He was conscious during his stay in the hospital for 17 consecutive days.

However, in the face of Russian authorities claiming ever greater conspiracy theories, Bailey stated that his reputation was being tarnished by a disinformation campaign.

‘At one point I was accused of being the assassin. I was accused of being Sergei’s handler. I was accused of working for MI6.’

However, there was no explanation in the documentary about the source of the charges against Bailey.

Pictured: CCTV image issued by the Metropolitan Police of Russian Nationals Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov (right) on Fisherton Road, Salisbury at 13:05hrs on March 4 2018

Pictured: A CCTV image taken by the Metropolitan Police for Russian Nationals Ruslan Borshirov (right), on Fisherton Road in Salisbury on March 4, 2018, 13:05hrs

He also recalled his frustration and anger when the team discovered Mr Skripal was a former Russian spy – and a former double agent working for MI6.

‘He chose Salisbury, or MI6 chose Salisbury for him,’ Mr Bailey said. ‘And I did think, why was the former Russian spy living in Salisbury and how we did not know that he was there? It is obvious that we ought to have been made aware. By all accounts no one knew.’

Mr Bailey’s wife Sarah and the couple’s two children have had to leave the family home after traces of novichok were found in almost every room in the house. He added: ‘They lost everything that meant something to them.’

While Bailey made a complete physical recovery since then, he still experiences flashbacks. After trying three times on different occasions to resume his career as a police officer, he was forced to quit on medical grounds.

In 2002, he joined Wiltshire Police and played a crucial role in the capture of Arthur Bonner (Salisbury rapist), who was in hiding for 40 years prior to his arrest and subsequent imprisonment.