Pc to stand trial in April charged with murder of Dalian Atkinson

The trial of a West Mercia police officer accused of murdering former Aston Villa star Dalian Atkinson in Telford is due to start on April 26, a court has been told.

Police Constables Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith and Benjamin Monk
Police Constables Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith and Benjamin Monk

Pc Benjamin Monk, 42, was charged in 2019 with murder and an alternative charge of manslaughter in connection with an incident in 2016 in which Mr Atkinson was Tasered.

The constable’s colleague, Pc Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, 31, previously entered a not guilty plea to a charge alleging she assaulted Mr Atkinson occasioning actual bodily harm prior to his death on August 15, 2016.

Dalian Atkinson

Judge Melbourne Inman QC directed the trial to be listed on April 26 during a hearing at Birmingham Crown Court this afternoon.

He said: "I'm satisfied it is in the interests of justice the case can be put back a very small amount from April 12 to April 26 and it will start on that date."

The defendants were excused from attending.

Both officers were charged following a three-year inquiry into the death of Mr Atkinson, who went into cardiac arrest in an ambulance on his way to hospital.

Mr Atkinson, 48, who also played for Ipswich and Sheffield Wednesday, died after police used a Taser during an incident near his father’s house in the Trench area of Telford.

The court previously heard Monk would formally enter his pleas to the charges on the day the trial begins, unless there was any further legal bid to the contrary, to avoid another potentially unnecessary hearing during the Covid-19 outbreak.

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