"It changed my life forever," said Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, an unsuspecting victim of the Salisbury nerve agent attack nearly four years ago. 

He speaks at the start of a new documentary, 'Secrets of the Salisbury Poisonings', set to reveal more details behind the attack on a former Russian agent on March 4, 2018, which had wide reaching consequences for the city and the globe.

With many interviewees speaking on camera for the first time, the film delves into not only the poisonings themselves, but the after-effects that are still felt by those involved today.

It will be airing on Discovery + on December 26 this year.

What are the Salisbury Poisonings? 

In March 2018, former Russian agent Sergei Skripal, and his daughter Yulia, were taken to hospital suffering from a mysterious illness after being found unconscious on a park bench in Salisbury.

It was quickly discovered that they had been poisoned by the nerve agent Novichok and it was suspected to be a targeted assassination attempt by the Russian state.

Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey also became dangerously ill after being the first at the crime scene of the Skripals’ house, where the nerve agent had been sprayed on the front door handle. 

In June 2018 Salisbury was considered free from Novichok but on June 30 two more victims were poisoned in the nearby town of Amesbury.

Charlie Rowley gave his girlfriend Dawn Sturgess a bottle of perfume, which he had found, and within minutes of spraying it on her wrists, Dawn fell violently ill and died in hospital eight days later.

The bottle contained Novichok and was believed to have been the source of the nerve agent used to poison Sergei Skripal. 

This film claims to reveal an 'extraordinary, untold twist' to this version of events.

'Secrets of the Salisbury Poisonings' 

The new, testimony-driven documentary claims to bring the evolving spy story 'up to date', reflecting the emotional, human experiences of those who were at the centre of the story. 

This includes Novichok survivors Nick Bailey, who was first at the crime scene, and Charlie Rowley, who goes into detail about Dawn Sturgess's heartbreaking final moments, as well as the doctors and nurses on the frontline that battled to save the victims.

Local eyewitnesses give first-hand testimony and in Russia, Sergei Skripals’ niece speaks out.

Tracy Daszkiewicz, local Director of Public Health at the time, describes the challenge of tracking the movements of the Skripals and locking down contaminated areas of the city.

The film also reveals the dilemmas faced by the British government as the story unfolded, with access to the then Home Secretary Amber Rudd and National Security Advisor Lord Mark Sedwill. 

Interviewees also include key members of Wilshire Police and Counter-Terrorism chief, Sir Mark Rowley, who was tasked with bringing those behind the attack to justice.   

Secrets of the Salisbury Poisoning is available to stream from 26th December, on discovery+.

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