Dalian Atkinson: police officer found guilty of former Aston Villa footballer’s manslaughter

It took jurors nearly 19 hours to reach unanimous verdicts on Pc Benjamin Monk – who was convicted of manslaughter but cleared of murder.

Pc Benjamin Monk (left) was found guilty of the manslaughter of former Aston Villa footballer Dalian Atkinson (right) - PA

A police officer who Tasered former footballer Dalian Atkinson and then kicked him twice in the head has been convicted of manslaughter but cleared of murder.

Jurors at Birmingham Crown Court took 18 hours and 48 minutes to reach unanimous verdicts on Pc Benjamin Monk.

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At a glance: 5 key points

- Pc Benjamin Monk, who claimed he was put in fear of his life by the former Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich Town star on August 15 2016.

- Jurors are still deliberating on an assault charge relating to Monk’s colleague and former girlfriend, Pc Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith.

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- Monk told the court he ran in fear after Atkinson, who appeared to be having a mental health crisis, made death threats and smashed a glass door pane at his childhood home in Meadow Close, Telford, Shropshire.

- The 43-year-old officer claimed the former Premier League star was trying to get up when he aimed kicks at his shoulder in lawful self-defence as a last resort, after running out of Taser cartridges.

- Mr Atkinson went into cardiac arrest after being taken from the scene in an ambulance, and was pronounced dead in hospital at 2.45am – about an hour after he was Tasered.


According to the charity Inquest, no police officer has been found guilty of murder or manslaughter over a death in custody or following police contact in England and Wales since the 1980s.

The last time an officer was convicted in such a case was in 1986, when a Merseyside police sergeant was found guilty of manslaughter after kicking and punching a retired bus driver in a police cell.

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