Police officer could be retried over alleged assault of former Ipswich star

Dalian Atkinson playing for ITFC in October 1988 (Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images)

Dalian Atkinson playing for Ipswich Town in October 1988 - Credit: Bob Thomas/Getty Images

Prosecutors are seeking a retrial of a police officer accused of assaulting former Ipswich Town footballer Dalian Atkinson.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced the move a week after a jury at Birmingham Crown Court failed to reach a verdict on 31-year-old West Mercia Pc Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith.

It is alleged Pc Bettley-Smith used unreasonable force in striking the former Town striker with a baton after he had been tasered by another officer in Shropshire in August 2016.

Mr Atkinson, 48, went into cardiorespiratory arrest and died around an hour later after being taken to hospital by ambulance.

A previous hearing was told a retrial of the Midlands police constable is unlikely to take place until 2022.

Rosemary Ainslie, head of special crime at the CPS, said the court has been informed that the Crown will seek a retrial on a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Ms Ainslie said: “We remind everyone that criminal proceedings are active and that Ms Bettley-Smith has a right to a fair trial.

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“It is extremely important there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”

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