Dalian Atkinson: Police officer accused of murdering ex-footballer tells court docket he feared for his life

The police officer accused of murdering ex-footballer Dalian Atkinson has instructed a court docket he was “terrified” he was going to die throughout the encounter.

Benjamin Monk is accused of utilizing illegal and unreasonable power when he fired a Taser on the former Aston Villa star for 33 seconds earlier than kicking him within the head.

Monk, a constable with West Mercia Police, has denied homicide and manslaughter and gave proof for the primary time at Birmingham Crown Courtroom on Wednesday.

A jury has heard how Monk deployed three Taser cartridges earlier than Mr Atkinson was handcuffed close to his father’s dwelling in Meadow Shut in Telford, Shropshire, within the early hours of August 15, 2016. The previous footballer later died in hospital.

Dalian Atkinson performed for a number of golf equipment together with Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich City

Monk instructed the jury how he felt “a giant aid” when Mr Atkinson was floored after being tasered the third time.

He added that the primary two Taser strikes had been ineffective.

Monk claims Mr Atkinson instructed him, throughout the encounter that “you’ll be able to put 100,000 volts by means of me, I am the messiah – your Taser will not work and now I’ll take you to the gates of hell”.

Requested how he felt after the second Taser strike failed, the officer of then 14 years’ service, mentioned: “I keep in mind simply pondering, ‘we’re executed for’.”

When requested by his barrister Patrick Gibbs QC what he did subsequent, Monk replied: “Ran for my life – we ran away.”

He instructed the jurors it was one thing he had by no means executed earlier than in his total profession.

The 43-year-old mentioned: “He (Mr Atkinson) was very, very scary.

“And the gadget which I believed may work for me, hadn’t labored and I used to be terrified.”

Monk and junior colleague PC Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, with whom he was in a relationship on the time, had backed away from Mr Atkinson within the residential shut whereas ready for extra officers to reach.

PA - Dalian Atkinson in action for Aston Villa in 1994
Atkinson is alleged to have promised to take Monk to ‘the gates of hell’

By this time, Mr Atkinson had smashed the glass within the entrance door of the property belonging to his father.

Each officers had been despatched to the tackle after members of the general public referred to as 999 reporting a priority for the welfare of the aged occupant.

In the course of the course of the primary two failed Taser strikes, Bettley-Smith referred to as for back-up, activating her emergency button, calling all accessible models to the placement.

Monk then described listening to one of many back-up models radioing to inform the pair they have been nonetheless “six minutes” away.

Monk mentioned when he tasered Mr Atkinson a 3rd time, the ex-footballer “stopped transferring in direction of me and appeared to cease the place he was”.

He added: “He fell to the ground.

“I do know he timbered, however I am unable to say if it was from standing.”

Requested how he felt in that second, Monk replied: “If this cartridge did not work, Ellie (Bettley-Smith), me, the gentleman inside the home, have been probably executed for – so the very fact it labored it was a giant aid.”

Monk mentioned he had “very a lot so” thought-about operating from Mr Atkinson, main him away from the shut, however mentioned: “We needed to shield the person inside the home.”

The constable mentioned Mr Atkinson began “plucking” at his clothes whereas on the bottom, which the constable felt was an try to free the Taser’s electrical energy barbs, in an effort to get again up.

At that time, he recalled Bettley-Smith coming throughout and “she delivered some baton strikes to the decrease space of Mr Atkinson’s legs”.

Monk mentioned Mr Atkinson was then making an attempt to get right into a “place the place he is about to proper himself”.

Requested what he did, Monk instructed the court docket: “I kicked him.”

West Mercia Police Constables Benjamin Monk (right) and Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith arrive at Birmingham Crown Court
Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith and Benjamin Monk

The court docket has already heard proof that Monk’s boot linked with Mr Atkinson’s head, however the officer mentioned that on the time he believed he had kicked the 48-year-old “within the shoulder”.

Monk additionally mentioned the power of the kick was “a few 4” out of 10 on a sliding scale.

The constable mentioned: “I wished Mr Atkinson to cease getting up as a result of I believed if he will rise up, we have been going to die.”

The court docket has beforehand heard that Taser-trained Monk had depressed the weapon’s set off for 33 seconds throughout the third strike.

When requested if he had been acutely aware of doing so in proof, he replied: “Completely not. Completely not.”

Mr Atkinson died about 70 minutes after the incident, with Monk telling jurors that when he came upon the information from an inspector again on the police station, it left him “devastated”.

Bettley-Smith, 31, can also be on trial, and denies a cost of assault occasioning precise bodily hurt, through the use of her force-issue extendable baton.

The trial continues.

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