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Police charged PC Benjamin Monk with the murder of footballer Dalian Atkinson after an altercation in Shropshire in 2016. His co-accused, PC Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, faced assault charges. Both officers were in a relationship at the time of the incident.

According to the BBC, PC Monk and Bettley-Smith arrived at the victim’s father’s house in Telford at 01:30 on August 15 2016. The officers responded to a report of Atkinson acting strangely and shouting.

Monk deployed his Taser three times – which is six times longer than standard – after Atkinson answered the door. Monk alleges the Taser failed the first time, which is why he deployed it multiple times after Atkinson punched a glass door pane. This proved fatal for the victim, who suffered from serious health problems. The default setting for the Taser is five seconds but Monk, 32, held the trigger for 33 seconds.

A witness claimed the officers kicked and struck the victim after he fell to the ground. According to one witness, after the former footballer was unconscious, police officers “set about him”. Photographs showed imprints of bootlaces on the victim’s forehead where PC Monk kicked him. According to an unnamed witness, “at the same time the female officer was striking the man with her extendable baton.” Fellow officers PC Mark Bedford and PC Ben Wright support these claims after witnessing the attack.

The former strike remained handcuffed in the hospital with the defendant “concerned that Mr Atkinson might be feigning illness”. However, the victim died at 02:45 following the attack. He suffered from high blood pressure, heart disease, and end-stage renal failure.

The victim had a long sporting career at Ipswich Town, Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday and Manchester City. The trial continues as the victim’s family, friends and fans wait for a conviction.

By Derry Salter

Cardiff University Journalism and Communications student. Intern for MMN.

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