Dalian Atkinson: Ex-Villa star died after being kicked and tasered by ‘angry’ police officer, court hears

Kicks ‘left imprints of laces’ on 48-year-old’s forehead, prosecution says

Zoe Tidman
Tuesday 04 May 2021 16:52
<p>Dalian Atkinson died after being tasered for 33 seconds, more than six times the standard five-second phase</p>

Dalian Atkinson died after being tasered for 33 seconds, more than six times the standard five-second phase

Former Aston Villa footballer Dalian Atkinson died after being tasered and kicked by an “angry” police officer, a murder trial jury has heard.

Birmingham Crown Court was told Police Constable Benjamin Monk denies the murder and manslaughter of the 48-year-old.

Atkinson, who also played for Ipswich Town and Sheffield Wednesday, died in 2016 in Telford, Shropshire.

The West Mercia Police officer was charged with murder in 2019 after a three-year inquiry into the death of the former Premier League footballer.

Opening the Crown’s case against 42-year-old PC Monk, prosecution counsel Alexandra Healy alleged the ex-footballer was tasered for 33 seconds, more than six times the standard five-second phase.

The QC told the court on Tuesday that Mr Atkinson, who had serious health problems including end-stage renal failure, moved towards the officers after they were called to a disturbance near his father’s house in Meadow Close, Telford, around about 1.30am on 15 August 2016.

The prosecutor said the third deployment of a Taser by PC Monk caused Mr Atkinson neuro-muscular incapacitation before he fell forwards onto the road.

The prosecution counsel added: “PC Monk also proceeded to kick Dalian Atkinson.

“At least two kicks were delivered by him to Dalian Atkinson’s forehead with enough force to leave the imprints of the pattern of the laces from the top of his boot on two separate areas of Mr Atkinson’s forehead.”

The prosecutor said PC Monk was not “acting in self-defence or in defence of another” in kicking the ex-footballer twice in the head.

“He was no doubt angry that he had been put in fear by this man,” Ms Healy said. “He chose to take that anger out on Dalian Atkinson by kicking him in the head.”

The prosecutor told the court: “His training will have taught him, and it is obvious, that the head is a sensitive area. In kicking Dalian Atkinson to the head PC Monk can only, the prosecution say, have only intended to cause really serious injury.”

PC Monk’s colleague, PC Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, is also facing trial charged with assault.

Ms Healy claimed the 31-year-old officer struck Atkinson while he was on the ground a number of times with her baton.

PC Bettley-Smith has pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The ex-Villa star died after going into cardiac arrest while being taken to hospital in an ambulance.

Additional reporting by Press Association