The policeman who fell seriously ill after the nerve agent attack in Salisbury has been described by a family friend as a “super boy” who steps beyond expectation.
Police sergeant Nick Bailey, 38, is being treated in hospital after ex-Russian Spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found collapsed on a bench.
He remains in a serious condition although he is now stable and able to talk.
It had been thought that the policeman may have been exposed to the nerve agent when he administered CPR at the scene.
Former London police chief Ian Blair has since said that DS Bailey visited Skripal’s house, which is now being considered as the potential location where the pair were poisoned.
Mr Blair told BBC radio that DS Bailey “has actually been to the house, whereas there is a doctor who looked after the patients in the open who hasn’t been affected at all. There may be some clues floating around in here.”
Raymond Rickman, a family friend of the policeman, shed light on DS Bailey’s character.
“Nick grew up next door to us. Super boy. Very nice,” he said.
“He’s an example of the quality of the police that we have. They obviously do their job, which they’re trained to do, but I should think there are occasions where they step beyond that expectation,” he told Sky News.
Mr Rickman says he has been neighbours with the family for many years and that he thought Nick is a “super boy”.
“He’s everything one would expect a good, local chap to be. Always very communicative and supportive,” he said, adding: “I admire him intensely.”
DS Bailey joined the force in 2002.
He was familiar with Salisbury city centre as he had worked there as a member of the neighbourhood policing team.
He spent two years building a case against Arthur Bonner, who sexually assaulted numerous victims over four decades between the early 1970s and 2014.
Wiltshire’s chief constable Keir Pritchard visited him in hospital.
“I very much hope Nick will be on his feet back at work very soon,” he told the BBC. “We desperately miss him.
“He’s a great character. He’s a huge presence in Wiltshire Police, well-liked, well-loved, a massively dedicated officer.
“He’s not the Nick that I know, but of course he’s receiving a high level of treatment.”
The Prime Minister has spoken to recognise DS Bailey’s courage, saying “the events of Sunday are a stark reminder, if ever one was needed, of the dangerous situations our emergency services face, and the dedication and courage they display every day in order to keep us safe”.