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Dalian Atkinson death: Investigation is nearing completion

By Mat Growcott | News | Published:

The investigation into the death of former Aston Villa footballer Dalian Atkinson is nearing completion, it has been revealed.

Police in Meadow Close, Trench, Telford. Inset: Dalian Atkinson.

Fresh tests of forensic evidence linked to the case were required over fears they had been "compromised".

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which is carrying out the investigation into Mr Atkinson's death, has confirmed that the tests have now been completed and they are awaiting a report on the results.

Mr Atkinson, 48, died after being shot with a police taser outside his father’s house in Meadow Close in Trench, Telford, on August 15 last year.

But at an inquest hearing earlier this year it was revealed that the investigation into his death had to be delayed over fears that toxicology results had become "compromised".

The news came after Greater Manchester Police announced a criminal investigation into forensic test results issued by Randox Testing Services earlier this year, finding that thousands of forensic samples could have been manipulated.

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Today the Independent Police Complaints Commission said that the necessary retesting work in Mr Atkinson's case has now been completed.

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Mark Pearson, of the IPCC, said: "The necessary toxicology retesting has been done, and we now await a full report from pathologist."

After being shot with the taser, Mr Atkinson became unresponsive and died despite the efforts of hospital doctors who battled for 35 minutes to try to save him.

In August, it was revealed that three West Mercia Police officers had been interviewed under criminal caution and served with gross misconduct notices relating to Mr Atkinson's death.

Investigators have transcribed relevant police radio transmissions and examined police policies on the use of force.

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Analysis of the Taser that was deployed on Mr Atkinson has also been carried out.

But the IPCC says the criminal investigation does not necessarily mean criminal charges will follow.

Earlier this year, Mr Atkinson's family said they were still "reeling" from his loss.

In a statement they said: "Our determination to get to the facts and to see that appropriate action is taken will not be weakened by the passing of time.

“We’re buckled in for the long haul.”

Mr Atkinson's funeral was attended by hundreds of mourners, including former Aston Villa stars Ian Taylor and Tommy Johnson and scores of fans, at Telford crematorium in November 2016.

Shortly before that, around 200 people also came together to join the ‘Justice 4 Dalian Atkinson’ in Telford Town park march.

The striker was best known for his magnificent solo goal against Wimbledon in 1992, which won Match of the Day’s Goal of the Season award.

The inquest into Mr Atkinson's death is set to continue on January 9.

Mat Growcott

By Mat Growcott
Reporter - @MGrowcott_Star

Shropshire Star reporter

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