Police Officer Guilty of Dalian Atkinson's Manslaughter
Wednesday, 23rd Jun 2021 12:17
PC Benjamin Monk has been cleared of murdering former Town striker Dalian Atkinson but has been found guilty of his manslaughter.
Following a seven-week trial, jurors took 18 hours and 48 minutes to reach unanimous verdicts at Birmingham Crown Court this morning.
Atkinson died aged 48 in the early hours of Monday 15th August 2016 having been repeatedly Tasered and kicked by Monk in an incident outside his father Ernest’s house in the Trench area of Telford.
Pc Mary-Ellen Bettley-Smith struck Atkinson with her baton on a number of occasions while he was grounded and was charged with assault.
No verdict has yet been reached regarding Bettley-Smith with jurors now allowed to reach a majority decision.
In a statement Atkinson's family said: “Dalian Atkinson is much missed by all his family and friends and the footballing communities of the clubs he played for in his long and successful career as a professional footballer, especially Ipswich Town, Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa.
“The past five years have been an ordeal for Dalian’s family. We knew years ago about the terrible injuries inflicted by PC Monk on Dalian, but have been unable to talk about them due to the criminal process. We are hugely relieved that the whole country now knows the truth about how Dalian died.
“While it has been hard for us not to be able to talk about the details of Dalian’s death, it has been even harder to sit through this trial and to hear PC Monk try to justify the force he used.
“On the night he died, Dalian was vulnerable and unwell and needed medical attention. He instead received violence, and died with PC Monk’s boot lace prints bruised onto his forehead.
“We have been sickened to hear PC Monk try to minimise the force he used on Dalian and exaggerate the threat he posed. Fortunately, the jury has seen through the lies and the pretence. We would like to thank the jury members for all their hard work and attention.
“The fact that this case has taken nearly five years to get to trial is completely unacceptable, especially when you consider that the PC Monk’s identity was known to the prosecuting authorities from day one.
“By contrast, the murderer of George Floyd was convicted less than a year after his death. Our system for prosecuting police officers must work better in future to get rid of these unjustifiable delays. No more excuses – no more delays.
“Dalian’s footballing talent led him to achieve great things in his life. Our sincere hope is that now that the truth about his death is known, and justice has been done, we can start to remember him not for the manner in which he died, but for the way in which he lived.”
Atkinson joined Town as a youth player having been scouted by legendary Blues talent spotter Ron Gray during Bobby Ferguson’s time as boss.
The Shrewsbury-born frontman made his senior debut in March 1986 and went on to make 56 starts and 13 sub appearances scoring 21 goals before moving to Sheffield Wednesday for £450,000 in July 1989. Aston Villa, Real Sociedad and Fenerbahçe were among his other clubs.
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