Ex-Blues star was 'not in his right mind' when Tasered, dad told police

54 Dalian Atkinson

Dalian Atkinson made 64 appearances for Town and scored 21 goals - Credit: Archant

The father of former Ipswich Town footballer Dalian Atkinson told police his son was not in his right mind on the night he was Tasered, a jury has heard. 

Jurors at Birmingham Crown Court were read a statement given to officers by Ernest Atkinson a week after his son's death on August 15, 2016. 

Mr Atkinson, who has since died, told police his son had grabbed him around the throat after "pounding" on the door of his home in Meadow Close in Telford, Shropshire, in the early hours.

Prosecutors allege that West Mercia Pc Benjamin Monk murdered the ex-Town striker by kicking him in the head intending serious harm, while the officer's then partner, Pc Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith struck blows with a baton out of anger.

The court heard that Ernest Atkinson, then aged 85, gave his account of the events to police on August 23, 2016.

His statement was summarised and read to the court record on the third day of the trial on Thursday by junior prosecution counsel Paul Jarvis.

Dalian Atkinson went on to star at Aston Villa

The former striker, who also played for Aston Villa, died on August 15, 2016 - Credit: Archant

Mr Jarvis said: "Ernest explained that he was in bed upstairs when he heard some movement outside at the front of his house.

"He saw his son Dalian standing outside on the gravel area near the front of the house."

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Mr Atkinson told police he had opened a window and asked his son what was wrong, and he had asked to come inside to talk.

The former footballer, who also starred for Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday, seemed to be upset, his father stated, and he opened the door for him because he was banging on it.

Addressing the jury, Mr Jarvis added: "Dalian told Ernest Atkinson that he loved him and asked why his father and the rest of the family were trying to kill him."

The court heard Mr Atkinson recalled his son saying: "I'm alive, I am the messiah, and I have come to kill you."

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

The former Town star told police he was 'the messiah', the jury heard

According to Mr Atkinson's account, his son "described himself as a born-again Christian" and appeared to be angry.

"At that, Dalian grabbed Ernest by the throat and pushed him down into a chair.

"He told him not to move otherwise he would kill Paul and Kenroy, Dalian's brothers," Mr Jarvis said. 

"Dalian asked his father how much they had paid him."

Jurors were told Dalian then answered the phone, again shouting that he was "the messiah".

Mr Jarvis added: "Ernest had never seen his son like this before.

"Ernest then heard a knock at the door and a voice on the other side of the door said 'police'.

"From inside the house Ernest could see and hear Dalian standing with his hands out and say: 'You are going to Taser me. I'm the messiah, you cannot hurt me.'"

Dalian Atkinson pictured in 1989. Picture: OWEN HINES

A statement from Dalian Atkinson's father was read to the court

Mr Atkinson, who assumed the police would be able to calm his son down, then heard a bang as the glass in his front door was smashed.

He then made a telephone call to his son Paul and went to the back of his house.

Jurors were told Mr Atkinson saw two police officers and was informed that "Dalian was fine and that he was in an ambulance on the way to hospital".

Mr Jarvis added: "A short time later a police officer came into Ernest's kitchen to tell him his son had died.

"Ernest told the police that, in his view, his son had not been in his right mind that morning."

Pc Monk, 42, denies murder and manslaughter. Pc Bettley-Smith, 31, denies assault.

The trial continues. 

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