Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey has revealed he is quitting the police force for the sake of his mental health – two years after being poisoned with a deadly nerve agent by Russian spies in Salisbury.

The police hero was one of the emergency workers investigating the brutal poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in the English city – after they were targeted by Russian spies and attacked with Novichok.

Detective Sergent Bailey became contaminated himself while investigating the Russian assassination attempt when he came into contact with the deadly substance on the door handle of the Skripal’s home.

His story has since been told in a hit BBC drama.

Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey is stepping down after 18 years of service

The police hero has served with Wiltshire Police for 18 years but says he is quitting the force after being left traumatised by his near-death experience.

Announcing his news on Twitter, Detective Sergent Bailey wrote: “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.”

He went on to explain how the nerve agent attack had left him distressed.

Detective Sergeant Bailey survived being poisoned by Novochok after Russian spies attempted an assassination in Salisbury

He wrote: “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.

“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.

“We’ve all seen that the ‘Policing family’ very much exists and in the current climate it’s more important now than ever.”

The police hero said he 'can no longer do the job' after surviving his ordeal

He continued: “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. #policefamily #thinblueline #joblikenoother #MentalHealthMatters.”

* Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at [email protected]