PC who tasered ex-Town star Dalian Atkinson found guilty of manslaughter
- Credit: Archant
A police officer has been found guilty of the manslaughter of former Ipswich Town player Dalian Atkinson.
PC Benjamin Monk, who tasered and kicked Atkinson twice in the head has been cleared of his murder but convicted of manslaughter at Birmingham Crown Court.
Jurors took more than 18 hours to reach the unanimous verdict on the West Mercia Police Constable.
Atkinson was tasered for 33 seconds by Monk, more than six times the standard five-second phase.
Atkinson, who played as a striker, started his professional career at Ipswich Town in 1985 where he made 60 appearances and scored 18 goals.
He later moved to Aston Villa, where he won the Football League Cup in 1995. He also spent a season on loan to current Premier League champions Manchester City in 1996.
The trial heard that Atkinson died after being Tasered three times near his father's home in Meadow Close, Telford, Shropshire, in August 2016.
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Monk said he feared for his life during a confrontation with the former Town and Aston Villa star.
The 43-year-old officer told the court he fled in fear after Atkinson made death threats to him, as he appeared to be having a mental health crisis.
The jury at Birmingham Crown Court were told in a previous hearing that the Atkinson, who suffered with mental health problems, moved towards the officer after they were called to a disturbance at about 1.30am.
An ambulance was called to the scene but Atkinson went into cardiac arrest on his way to hospital and was pronounced dead in hospital just before 3am, around an hour after Monk tasered him.
Prosecutors in the trial said that Monk lied about how many times he kicked Atkinson as he claimed he could only remember one that he aimed at Atkinson's shoulder.
Monk's colleague and former girlfriend, PC Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, 31, is also facing trial charged with assault, but jurors are still deliberating on the charge.
Shropshire barrister Alexandra Healy said in a previous court hearing that the younger officer had hit Atkinson with her baton a number of times whilst he was laying on the ground.