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Ex-Villa star Dalian Atkinson ‘kicked like a football by cop as officer yelled "f***ing hit him" in police Taser murder'

FORMER Aston Villa star Dalian Atkinson was kicked "like a football" by a cop yelling "f***ing hit him" before he was Tasered for 33 seconds, a court heard.

The ex-Villa and Manchester City footballer, 48, died after being shot with a 50,000-volt Taser in Telford, Shropshire, in August 2016.



Benjamin Monk, 42, is accused of killing the former Premier League ace using a Taser in the first case of its kind in Britain.

The cop, from West Mercia Police, denies murder and manslaughter. A female officer, PC Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, 31, faces an offence of assault.

Birmingham Crown Court heard that Monk and Bettley-Smith were in a relationship at the time of Atkinson's death. 

The officers were called to Atkinson's father's home following an alleged bust-up between the pair.

'POWERFUL KICK'

Horrified witnesses told how the footballer was booted around "15 times" as he had the "s**t kicked out of him".

Others claimed they saw Monk resting his foot on Atkinson's head as he made "gurgling sounds", it was said.

Alexandra Healy QC, prosecuting, read a report from Victor Swinbourne, who had been woken by the noise.

She told he Mr Swinbourne described seeing Atkinson collapse after being Tasered before Monk gave him a "couple of light kicks".

The prosecutor continued: "He then saw the officer pull his right foot all the way back and give the black male a final massive and powerful kick using the toe of his right foot as the male lay motionless on the floor.

"The officer's leg went straight back and snapped forwards as though he was kicking a football.

"He described the motion as similar to the sort of kick that would have been required to move a ball up field with significant force.

"It was not, he thought, as strong a kick as a goal kick, as the officer did not appear to take a run up to it.

"He believed the kick was initially to the black male's chest but given the strength of the impact it looked as though the kick bounced off the chest and hit him in the chin, because he saw the black male's head snap back violently."

'F***ING HIT HIM'

The court was told Monk's girlfriend then began "striking" Atkinson with an extendable baton as he made "no movement or any attempt to protect himself".

The prosecutor continued: "Mr Swinbourne described the two officers then sitting on the black male in order to handcuff him. He describes hearing the black male make some horrendous noises.

"He described the noise as a clear breathing difficulty as if he couldn't get any air into his lungs. He was shocked at how loud it was."

Monk was then heard telling Bettley-Smith "f***ing hit him, f***ing hit him" while Atkinson lay motionless on the ground, it was said.

Ms Healy told the court: "The female officer looked to be panicking and frightened.

"The male officer appeared calm and in control. Dalian was not moving and looked to be dead."

The court heard when officers arrived they found Monk with his foot rested on Atkinson's head while he made "growling" and "grunting" noises.

Monk was heard later telling paramedics "he may be bloody as I had to kick him" as the footballer was rushed to hospital.

33 SECONDS

The court was earlier told how Atkinson's behaviour as "disturbed and erratic" before Monk intervened.

West Mercia Police Constable Monk shot Atkinson twice with his Taser, which proved to be ineffective, before deploying the weapon again.

Jurors were told the Taser was used for more than six times the length of a standand five-second phase after Atkinson yelled he was the "messiah".

Ms Healey said Monk became angry and kicked Atkinson twice in the head after he fell to the ground – leaving imprints from his boots on his skull.

Bettley-Smith is then said to have battered him with her extendable baton as the two "angry" officers "set about him" as he lay on the ground "unresponsive and still".

Ms Healy said: "The standard default setting of a Taser is a five-second phase, but it is possible to override that by continuing to depress the trigger.

"PC Monk continued to depress the trigger for more than six times the length of a standard five-second phase.

"The Taser was deployed for 33 seconds."

Ms Healy added: "PC Monk was the more experienced officer and was armed with a Taser.

Pc Monk continued to depress the trigger for more than six times the length of a standard five-second phase. The Taser was deployed for 33 seconds."

"He was equipped, as is standard, with three Taser cartridges. PC Bettley-Smith was armed with an extendable baton.

"They knocked on the door of number 22 and Dalian Atkinson came to the door. He was unarmed."

She added: "He said he was the messiah."

The court also heard Monk "had been put in fear" by Atkinson and chose to take that anger out on him by kicking twice him in the head.

She added: "The prosecution say it was not reasonable to continue to depress the Taser for 33 seconds.

"And 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 he had been put in fear by this man.

DENIES MURDER

"He chose to take that anger out on Dalian Atkinson by kicking him in the head."

Dalian's devastated family had campaigned for a full investigation into his death and "welcomed" the decision to charge the officers.

Monk is only the fourth officer to be charged with murdering someone while on duty in more than 20 years.

Atkinson also played for Sheffield Wednesday, Manchester City, Ipswich Town, Fenerbahce and Real Sociedad during a career spanning 16 years.

He scored in Villa’s 3-1 1994 League Cup final victory over Manchester United and went on to net 36 times for the club in 114 appearances.

Atkinson’s siblings described him as kind, caring, funny and cheeky.

But before his death, relatives said he was “not in his right mind” and was suffering from health issues, including kidney problems and a weak heart.

His brother Paul, 55, said Atkinson had been acting irrationally as he was too “scared to sleep” due to medication he was on following dialysis treatment.

The trial, which is due to last eight weeks, continues.





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