May 14, 2021

Sports Legend

Dalian Atkinson: Former Aston Villa star dies after being tasered and kicked, murder trial jury says

Former Aston Villa star Dalian Atkinson has died after being tasered three times and at least two kicks in the head by an “angry” police officer, a murder trial jury has heard.

The Birmingham Crown Court jury have heard that West Mercia Police Officer Benjamin Monk denies the murder and manslaughter of the 48-year-old former footballer, who also played for Ipswich Town and Sheffield Wednesday.

Opening the Crown case against the 42-year-old officer, who was indicted after a three-year investigation into Mr Atkinson’s death in 2016 in Telford, Shropshire, prosecution attorney Alexandra Healy alleged that the The ex-footballer had been tasered for 33 seconds, more than six times the standard five-second phase.

QC told the court on Tuesday that Mr Atkinson, who had serious health issues including end-stage kidney disease, walked to officers after being called in about a disturbance in Meadow Close, Telford, around 1:30 a.m. in the morning.

Describing the prosecution’s case, the prosecutor said Monk’s third deployment of a Taser was “completely effective” and caused Atkinson’s neuromuscular disability before he fell back on the road.

West Mercia Police officers Benjamin Monk (right) and Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith (left) arrive at Birmingham Crown Court
West Mercia Police officers Benjamin Monk (right) and Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith (left) arrive at Birmingham Crown Court on Tuesday

The lawyer told the jury: “The standard default setting for a taser is a five-second phase, but you can override it by continuing to pull the trigger.

“And PC Monk continued to pull the trigger for over six times the duration of a standard five second phase. The taser was deployed for 33 seconds.”

The prosecutor added: “PC Monk also kicked Dalian Atkinson. At least two kicks were thrown by him on Dalian Atkinson’s forehead with enough force to leave the imprints of the top lace pattern. of his boot on two separate areas. of Mr. Atkinson’s forehead. “

Monk’s co-worker, PC Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, 31, also faces a trial on assault charges.

She pleaded not guilty to a charge alleging assaulting Mr. Atkinson causing actual bodily harm to him before his death on August 15, 2016.

Addressing the alleged role of Bettley-Smith, Ms Healy claimed the younger officer hit Mr Atkinson, while lying on the ground, several times with his baton.

The prosecutor added of Monk: “By kicking Dalian Atkinson in the head not once, but twice, PC Monk did not act, according to the prosecution, in self-defense. or in defense of others.

“He was undoubtedly angry that he had been put into fear by this man. He chose to take that anger out of Dalian Atkinson by kicking him in the head.

“His training will have taught him, and it is obvious, that the head is a sensitive area. By kicking Dalian Atkinson in the head, PC Monk cannot, according to the prosecution, intend to cause really serious injury. “