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Trial of Police Officer Accused of Dalian Atkinson's Murder Delayed
Monday, 20th Jul 2020 17:16

The trial of the police officer charged with the murder of ex-Town striker Dalian Atkinson has been put back until next year due to the coronavirus crisis.

PC Benjamin Monk, 41, from the West Mercia force had been due to face trial on September 14th along with PC Ellen Bettley-Smith, 29, who is charged with assault causing actual bodily harm. The pair will now stand trial at Easter 2021 with a provisional date of April 12th having been set.

PC Bettley-Smith has denied assaulting Atkinson, while PC Monk, who faces an alternative change of manslaughter, will enter a plea at the start of the trial. Both have been released on unconditional bail.

Atkinson died, aged 48, after being Tasered outside his father’s house in Telford in August 2016.

At Birmingham Crown Court Judge Melbourne Inman QC said social distancing measures created "significant restrictions" for trials, adding: “In this case, the planning is significant given the obvious number of witnesses and their nature. Everybody that is touched and concerned by this case is under considerable pressure and stress.

“I also have no doubt Mr Monk and Ms Bettley-Smith wish some certainty to know when their trial will take place.

Atkinson’s family listened to the hearing via Skype and said they backed relisting the trial date as soon as possible.

Photo: ITFC

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