Watch: Dalian Atkinson's family call killing by jailed PC 'callous and terrible'

File photo dated 02/06/21 of West Mercia Police constable Benjamin Monk who has been jailed for eigh

West Mercia Police constable Benjamin Monk who has been jailed for eight years at Birmingham Crown Court for the manslaughter of ex-footballer Dalian Atkinson. - Credit: Joe Giddens/PA

Dalian Atkinson's family criticised a decision not to sack the officer, who killed the ex-Ipswich Town payer, for gross misconduct linked to previous cautions.

Relatives of the former Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich Town star said PC Benjamin Monk “should never have been working for the police” when he used excessive force in kicking the 48-year-old in the head at least twice.

Monk was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter, after Birmingham Crown Court heard that he left two bootlace imprints on the former Premier League star’s forehead – following an “excessive” 33-second Taser deployment.

Monk’s six-week trial was told he was “not honest” after the death of Mr Atkinson, who died in hospital around an hour after an ambulance was called to the scene near his father’s home in Meadow Close, Telford, Shropshire, on August 15 2016.

It emerged on Monday that Monk had been found guilty of gross misconduct five years before he killed Mr Atkinson, after failing to mention two cautions on his application form to join the West Mercia force in 2001.

The court heard that he kept his job in February 2011, a year after details of the cautions came to light, despite being found to have breached required standards for honesty and integrity.

In a statement after the case, Mr Atkinson’s siblings Paul, Kenroy, Elaine and Otis, said: “PC Monk used horrendous violence against Dalian, who was in an extremely vulnerable position, in mental health crisis, and needed help.

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“This was a callous attack and a terrible abuse of a police officer’s position of trust.

“He then failed to give a full and honest account of what happened, including at his trial.

“We are pleased that all these factors have been reflected in the sentence.

“We were shocked to learn that PC Monk was not sacked in February 2011 for gross misconduct for his dishonesty; he should never have been working for the police in August 2016 and Dalian should not have died.

“We pay tribute to all the bereaved families of black men who have died at the hands of the police and whose fight for justice has not led to successful prosecutions.

“It shouldn’t take the death of a famous footballer for the criminal justice system to work properly and we hope that more families can secure justice in future regardless of whether the deceased is a high-profile person.”

The family also hoped his memory would be honoured as England players took the knee ahead of their Euros match in the Three Lions’ game against Germany.

A symbol of anti-racism solidarity, taking the knee gained attention in American football in 2016 as players protested against police brutality and racism in the US.