Jury struggles to reach decision in case of second officer in Dalian Atkinson trial
- Credit: Archant
A jury has been discharged from reaching a verdict on a police officer accused of assaulting former Ipswich Town player Dalian Atkinson with a baton after he was Tasered to the ground.
The case against West Mercia probationary constable Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, 31, ended in a hung jury a day after Pc Benjamin Monk was convicted of the ex-footballer’s manslaughter and told he will face an “inevitable” prison term.
Striker Atkinson started his professional career at Ipswich Town in 1985 where he made 60 appearances and scored 18 goals.
Jurors deliberated for more than 21 hours at Birmingham Crown Court before telling the trial judge they would be unable, even if given further time, to reach a verdict on a charge alleging Bettley-Smith used unlawful force.
She told her trial she used necessary force to defend herself and others, but prosecutors claimed she had exaggerated the threat posed by former Town star Atkinson to “help” Monk’s attempt to justify excessive force.
A six-week trial was told Monk, 43, fired a Taser three times – including a single 33-second discharge – and left two bootlace prints on Atkinson’s forehead near his father’s home in Meadow Close, Telford, in August 2016.
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Jurors took 18 hours and 48 minutes to reach unanimous verdicts on Monk, who is believed to be the first police officer since 1986 to be found guilty of unlawful killing over a death in custody or following police contact in England and Wales.
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