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Dalian Atkinson trial jury likely to retire on Tuesday, panel told

·2 min read

The judge in the trial of a policeman accused of murdering Dalian Atkinson has told jurors they are likely to retire to consider verdicts on Tuesday.

Pc Benjamin Monk denies murder and an alternative charge of manslaughter in connection with the ex-footballer’s death in Telford, Shropshire, in August 2016.

The 43-year-old’s colleague and former girlfriend, Pc Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, denies committing assault when she struck the former Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich Town star with a baton after he was tasered to the ground.

Monk and Bettley-Smith have both told the jury they believed 48-year-old Atkinson was trying to get back to his feet and still posed a threat to them and others.

Counsel for Monk has claimed the ex-footballer was not motionless on the ground when he was kicked twice in the head “as a last resort” after the officer ran out of options.

Dalian Atkinson death
West Mercia Police Constables Benjamin Monk and Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith arrive at Birmingham Crown Court (Jacob King/PA)

Defence QC Patrick Gibbs also submitted that the length of a 33-second Taser deployment by Monk was the clearest evidence that it was delivered by mistake “in complete confusion and panic”.

Prosecutors claim Monk used unlawful and unreasonable force out of anger, prior to the death of Atkinson, who suffered a cardiorespiratory arrest.

Judge Melbourne Inman QC, sitting at Birmingham Crown Court, has already summed up the law in the case and began to summarise the evidence for the 11-strong jury on Monday.

The judge told the jury that the Crown had to prove three elements for Monk to be guilty of murder – that the officer had used unlawful force, which caused death, and that he intended to kill Mr Atkinson or cause him really serious harm.

Stating that the purpose of the summing up was to help to crystallise the issues for the jury’s consideration, Judge Inman told the panel: “It’s not up to me – you decide what you accept, what you don’t, what conclusions you draw.

“It’s what you consider to be relevant that’s important, not me.”

Evidence from eyewitnesses, other police officers, forensic experts and medical professionals was summed up to the jury on Monday.

Testimony from both defendants is expected to be summarised for the jury on Tuesday, before jurors are sent out to consider their verdicts.

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