The former Premiership footballer Dalian Atkinson was murdered in the road by a police officer, who Tasered and kicked him in the top, a jury has heard.
PC Benjamin Monk denies homicide and manslaughter following the incident on 15 August 2016 in Telford, Shropshire, which started on the residence of Atkinson’s father.
Monk is alleged to have Tasered Atkinson for 33 seconds, and whereas he was on the bottom and apparently unresponsive, kicked him in the top twice with such power the imprint of Monk’s laces have been left on Atkinson’s brow. Another officer, PC Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, is charged with assault inflicting precise bodily hurt, which she denies. She is alleged to have struck Atkinson with a baton whereas he was on the bottom.
Atkinson achieved fame as a striker for Aston Villa soccer membership, which is predicated in Birmingham. He retired from soccer in 2001.
A jury at Birmingham crown court docket heard prosecutor Alexandra Healy QC open the case.
She stated involved neighbours known as police with Atkinson shouting and his behaviour described as weird and erratic.
Monk Tasered Atkinson twice with none apparent impact, and fired the electrical stun gun a 3rd time, which felled the previous footballer to the bottom in the road exterior his father’s residence.
Healy stated: “PC Monk also proceeded to kick Dalian Atkinson. At least two kicks were delivered by him to Dalian Atkinson’s forehead with enough force to leave the imprints of the pattern of the laces from the top of his boot on two separate areas of Mr Atkinson’s forehead.
”Quite a few neighbours residing in Meadow Close witnessed this assault. Their view was that after Dalian Atkinson had fallen to the bottom he was unresponsive and nonetheless. He was not posing any risk to the officers. Nonetheless the 2 officers set about him.”
Healy stated Atkinson had underlying well being issues and round 1.30am went to his father’s residence in Meadow Close and his shouting in the road awoke neighbours who known as the police.
The officers knocked on the door of Atkinson’s father’s residence. Atkinson answered the door and claimed to be the messiah.
Healy stated: “On the night of Sunday 14th and early hours of Monday 15th August 2016 Dalian Atkinson’s behaviour was disturbed and erratic
”They have been confronted with a person who was clearly appearing in a disturbed and erratic manner. They have been entitled to make use of cheap power to defend themselves or to guard one other.
“The prosecution do not criticise their conduct prior to the discharge of the third Taser cartridge.
“However, when the deployment of the third cartridge was completely effective, causing Dalian Atkinson to experience neuromuscular incapacitation and fall to the ground, the prosecution say it was not reasonable to continue to depress the Taser for 33 seconds.
“In kicking Dalian Atkinson in the head not once, but on two separate occasions, PC Monk was not, the prosecution say, acting in self-defence or in defence of another. He was no doubt angry that he had been put in fear by this man.
“He chose to take that anger out on Dalian Atkinson by kicking him in the head. PC Monk was an experienced police officer. His training had taught him and it is obvious that the head is a sensitive area. In kicking Dalian Atkinson to the head PC Monk can only have intended to cause really serious injury.”
Healy advised the jury that the previous footballer was pronounced lifeless shortly afterwards: “An ambulance was called to the scene. Whilst this is a matter of routine when a Taser has been deployed, Dalian Atkinson had lost consciousness and was unresponsive before the ambulance arrived.
“Towards the end of the short ambulance journey to hospital Dalian Atkinson went into cardiac arrest. Despite the best efforts of the hospital staff who attempted to resuscitate him, he was pronounced dead at 2.45am.
“The pathologists and intensive care expert instructed by the prosecution agree that whilst his underlying health conditions meant that Dalian Atkinson was at a greatly increased risk of dying, were it not for the third Taser deployment and the kicks to his head, Dalian Atkinson would not have died that night.”
The incident was investigated by the police watchdog, now known as the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
The trial of the 2 police officers is being heard earlier than a jury of 12 folks with two alternates, and presided over by the recorder of Birmingham, Judge Melbourne Inman.
It is predicted to final into June, although the jury have been warned it might be longer.
The trial continues.