Dalian Atkinson investigation nearing completion
The investigation into the death of former Aston Villa footballer Dalian Atkinson could be over within a few weeks.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is awaiting a report from a medical expert before bringing its case to a conclusion.
It follows delays to the investigation after forensic evidence linked to the case was found to have been compromised.
A pre-inquest hearing into Mr Atkinson's death was set to take place on Tuesday this week but has now been delayed to June 5.
Mark Pearson, from the IOPC, said: “We are awaiting a report from a medical expert in the next few weeks, as recommended by the pathologist’s post mortem report, before being able to complete our investigation into the death of Dalian Atkinson in Telford.
"As soon as the expert opinion is gathered we will be in a position to conclude the investigation.
"A decision will then be taken by our regional director whether or not to formally refer our report to the Crown Prosecution Service for them to consider any potential charges.
“We are keeping Mr Atkinson’s family, West Mercia Police and HM Coroner regularly updated.
"A pre-inquest hearing due to be held at Shrewsbury this week has been relisted by HM Coroner for June 5.”
Mr Atkinson was shot with a Taser outside his father’s house in Telford, 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.
Analysis of the Taser that was deployed on Mr Atkinson has also been carried out.
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.
The striker was best known for his solo goal against Wimbledon in 1992, which won Match of the Day’s Goal of the Season award.
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