Taser fired at Dalian Atkinson was operating correctly, court hears

Dalian Atkinson, who died in 2016 after receiving a taser shock
Picture: OWEN HINES

Dalian Atkinson, who died in 2016 after receiving a taser shock Picture: OWEN HINES

The Taser fired at ex-Ipswich Town player Dalian Atkinson was working properly in tests carried out after the former footballer's alleged murder, a jury has heard.

An authorised Taser download officer told the trial of PC Benjamin Monk, who denies the murder and manslaughter of the former Town striker, that data was downloaded from the weapon after its use in Meadow Close, Telford, Shropshire, in August 2016.

The download officer, Sergeant Michael Waterworth, showed jurors the yellow X26 model Taser, held in a clear plastic exhibit bag, while giving evidence at Birmingham Crown Court on Wednesday.

Sgt Waterworth said he carried out tests to ensure that a single press of the trigger produced a standard five-second Taser cycle, and that a safety switch deactivating the weapon was working.

A third test was also conducted by Sgt Waterworth to ensure the Taser's "extended" cycle - with the trigger pressed for longer than five seconds - was also functioning.

West Mercia Police Constables Benjamin Monk (right) and Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith (left) arrive at Bi

West Mercia Police Constables Benjamin Monk (right) and Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith (left) arrive at Birmingham Crown Court to stand trial - Credit: Jacob King/PA Wire

Jurors have heard that Monk is alleged to have fired the Taser at Atkinson three times - with the final deployment lasting 33 seconds.

After Sgt Waterworth described how he had downloaded data from the Taser on to a desktop computer at Shrewsbury police station, Alexandra Healy QC asked him: "Did the Taser appear to have been operating properly as far as you were concerned?"

The officer replied: "Yes, it was."

On the downloaded data, Ms Healy asked: "Did you notice anything about the length of the activations when you did that download?"

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Sgt Waterworth responded: "Yes, it was a long cycle."

Dalian Atkinson pictured during his time at Aston Villa

Dalian Atkinson pictured during his time at Aston Villa - Credit: Archant

Asked if the long activation period was something he was used to seeing during a Taser download, the officer said: "That's very difficult to say."

Monk, 42, is alleged to have intended to cause really serious injury to Atkinson, who also played for Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday, after two initial uses of a Taser proved ineffective.

Monk's colleague and then partner, Pc Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, 31, is also facing trial.

She denies a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The trial continues. 

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